Arts and Entertainment

Music industry gets a remix

By Denebola
Published: March 2008

By Diana Burmistrovich

Pay $6. Pay $26. Pay $0. Pay as much or as little as your music-loving heart desires. As an added bonus, you can now steal from the music industry without being morally corrupt!
The music industry recently experienced a never before seen shift between artists and the music industry. Some bands, such as Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead, are breaking ties with their music labels in order to independently handle the distribution and sales of their records.
Similar to Radiohead’s release In Rainbows, Nine Inch Nails recently released a record called Ghosts I-IV without the restrictions of a middleman. Both artists were able to market their releases and gain the full profit of their sales.
In order to gain some profit from their work, both Nine Inch Nails, and Radiohead marketed super and deluxe editions of their albums which included different types of extras sold at a higher price.
Ghosts I-IV was sold at several different prices depending on how much fans were willing to pay. For anything less than $5, fans could get the first nine songs. An extra $5 allowed fans to receive the entire record, plus a 40-page PDF with different wallpaper designs, avatars, and computer graphics. As the prices increase, so do the number of extras. The last and the most extreme price is $300, for which fans receive an autographed vinyl record, a CD, and a data DVD containing the files which can be cut up and remixed.
Another innovative move branching away from the restraints of the industry is the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license under which Ghosts  I-IV was made.
Trent Reznor, lead singer of Nine Inch Nails, allows those who receive his data disc to freely edit and remix all of his work for non-commercial purposes such as movies, soundtracks, and video games. Although his previous releases were not under this license, Reznor made tracks from his 2005 release, “With Teeth, available to be remixed as well.
Although the idea of “legal downloading may seem implausible, it is becoming increasingly more available as artists realize that internet pirating is inevitable.
Tensions between artist and label  companies are often inevitable as artists continue to blame the industry for lack of freedom and inability to make  the profits they feel they deserve. The relationship between artists and label companies, however, may be unnecessary. As artists turn toward self-marketing and recording, working under a record label will become old-fashioned.  Even CDs are slowly becoming obsolete, as most music is now on the internet.
Shelling out $5 to show appreciation for an artist’s hard work instead of simply downloading it doesn’t put too much strain on the wallet. By supporting the artists, we are able to support a revolution that could change the way the music industry will work in the future.

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