Posts Tagged ‘Trent Reznor’

Nine Inch Nails Case Study

February 5, 2009

Last year the name Nine Inch Nails or Trent Reznor was mentioned a lot, when someone was talking about the future of music marketing. Trent has developed a complete new way for music marketing using the whole potential of web 2.0.
He demonstrated on how many ways you can connect with fans and how you still can give your fans a reason to buy in the digital age. There is more than MySpace, there is more than just giving your songs away for free in hope the audience comes to your live shows.
Mike Masnick was summarizing the NIN Campaign in his presentation given to MidemNet this year.

It’s All About The New Product Characteristics – We Still Value Music

January 4, 2008

Happy New Year!
Back from holidays …

The album market in the US is declining again this year. Nielsen SoundScan publishes figures that show a 14,9 per cent decrease in album sales 2007. That’s 41,9 million sold albums less than 2006. On the other side there are just 50 million digital albums sold in 2007. So the annual decline of album sales is nearly as high as the complete digital/online album sales.
Think about that.
And then reading things like this hurts. What is the RIAA thinking? (By the way great post on the Gartner blog on this theme.)
The product characteristics have changed cause of the digitisation. Nobody can stop this technology and changing consumer behavior cause of this new framework is a logic consequence. The RIAA has to face that.

Some of the artists get it. Prince and Radiohead did a nice step. But there are also some artists who didn’t get it. Latest example Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). He starts a Radiohead-like experiment in giving away for free or selling (pay $5 for a higher-quality version) the album of his protege, Saul Williams. Sounds good so far and when the figures in Chris Andersons post are right, it even should be a financial success (even if Chris Anderson missed some of the costs in the calculation).
Anyway Trent Reznor is whining on his website because in his opinion not enough of his fans paid for the album. He thinks the figures are disheartening.

trent-reznor.jpg

But why? Is he thinking that someone who pays for his music is appreciating his songs more than somebody else?
Or is it just about the money? (But then he should do the maths after the Live Tour.)

But it’s not about the value of your music, Trent. It’s about the new product characteristics. And a product is much more than just the content/music. It’s the medium, the service, the quality and access to the medium et cetera.

Another example:
As the New York Times reports the ringtone market is shrinking. Why? Not cause the people go back to the classic “ring, ring” or “peep, peep” and don`t like music as ringtone anymore. Simple cause there is a new technology development. There will be still some people who change their ringtone once a week, but they don’t have to pay anymore. The product attributes are changing, there is no need anymore to get your ringtone from a service provider for a couple of euros. There are new ways and of course more and more ways to get your ringtone for free on your phone.

Digital content/music is nearly a public good now. Legal or not. That’s the most important new product characteristic. Full stop.
When the product characteristic is changing then also the consumer behavior changes. Their attitude to music is changing, their price elasticity is changing.

People on the free market didn`t “really” care about “fairness”. Whatever your definition of fairness is. Not on the coffee market (and yes there is a small – too small – market for fair trade) and not on the entertainment market. People are thinking about what they have to pay, and not what they would like or be able to pay.

And when we are talking about fairness … to be honest : How many bands are really fair to their fans? The current ticket price development for live concerts shows that most of the bands didn`t care if this price is fair to their fans. They get the price on the market, there is the demand, so they take it.

So finally the music industry and artists have to accept the new product characteristics in the digital age. Analyse your consumers and fans and start adjusting your product policy and pricing. But stop fighting against your own consumers.

Does this make that sense?