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NIN Releases Fan Created Album

March 2, 2009

Oh Mr. Reznor, how the internet loves thee.

As most of you know, Nine Inch Nails are at the forefront of the new music economy. A few weeks ago at Midem, Mike Masnick gave a presentation on how NIN are breaking down barriers, entrenching old fans, and gaining new ones through their innovative internet strategy.

The main point that I took from Mike Masnick’s presentation was that Trent Reznor gives back to his tribe in many different ways. And because he treats his people so well, stays connected, and is authentic, his fans stick around.

For Nine Inch Nails fans, Trent Reznor has released one full length album (Ghosts I-IV), a remixed album, left secret notes on the back of concert shirts, led people around on ARG (alternative reality games), taped unreleased demos to bathroom stalls, and recently has released a fan created double audio disc; Another Version of the Truth.

I hope to see the day that something like this (a fan created, artist endorsed album) isn’t news, it’s common place. Artists need to create new opportunities to interact with their fans.

If you don’t exactly have a massive fanbase, you can still connect in other ways. New YouTube videos, live show streaming, demos, song ideas, rough mixes, drawings, poems, anything tied to your music can become a way for your band to connect to more people.

The idea that your YouTube or MySpace song needs 19 Million plays is misguided. Of course that helps, but if you have a large  variety of quality content, then no single aspect of your world needs a ton of views. If your poem connects with one person then it has done it’s job.

If the future is to be a niche market then you must own your own niche. You must have enough content for your niche to more then satisfy your audience. They must want to stick around. Trent Reznor has so much content spilling out of Nine Inch Nails that I guarantee there will be something there for even a casual fan.

Nine Inch Nails own their niche, do you own yours?

Take Control of Your Music


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