Nine Inch Nails's Music Experiment Successful

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 5, 2008
Updated • Dec 4, 2012
Music, Music and Video

Radiohead was the first band that used the Internet as their main distribution method for their music and that gave their fans the best price ever for their music by letting the downloaders decide what they would pay. This premiere was not perfect by all means though but it was definitely a step in the right direction.

The second band that created such a stir was the band Nine Inch Nails with the release of their album Ghosts Volumes One though Four. The first nine songs of the album were available freely on the NIN website with lots of extras including digital extras and a 40-paged PDF document.

Three additional packages were on sale that would add value to the free package. The most expensive one was a $300 deluxe release signed by Trent Reznor that was limited to 2500 copies. That limited release sold out after a couple of days which alone marks this experiment an success.

It should also be noted that the full release has been released under Creative Commons and can be downloaded from various Bittorrent sites throughout the Internet.


The first nine tracks of the Ghosts collection are still available as a free high-quality download on the Nine Inch Nails website. All 36 songs can be bought for a $5 download, a $10 two CD set, or a $75 deluxe edition package.

If you select the free download, you are still required to enter your email address to receive the download link as an email in your account. You do not need to enter payment information or other identifiable information though on the form.


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  1. EP said on March 5, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Seriously… the “free” NIN album was perhaps the worst crap I’ve ever heard.

    Each song was a random pile of notes that sounded like a recording of someone who was new to music.

    NIN should start to PAY for people to listen to this garbage.

    I really hope they don’t make a penny from this “experiment”.

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