Published on May 13th, 2009 | by Rob Cumiskey10
Infected – Reznor and Innovation
‘Infected’ will be a weekly column by Venntertainment.com documenting Pop Culture in Viral Marketing. ‘Infected’ will also include sporadic ramblings on other random ‘viral’ topics…watch this space!
This Week we have our first post:
Reznor and Innovation
With Record Labels culling the number of artists on their books and with more and more acts going independent, it’s so important for musicians to be as innovative as they possibly can be.
Obviously it easier for acts with an already huge following, like Radiohead, to use an innovative idea like they did for ‘In Rainbows’. The likelihood that their fans would ‘buy in’ to that idea was huge. But it’s amazing how many large acts ignore the ‘Viral’ approach through either fear of the unknown, or ignorance.
Enter Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nail’s enigmatic frontman. If you thought Radiohead were revolutionary, think again.
In advance of his last album to be released on a label, ‘Year Zero’ on Interscope, he ‘leaked’ three songs from the album at a gig in advance of the official album release as part of a Viral Reality Game. This was created by, surprise, surprise, 42 Entertainment (The guys that brought us last year’s ‘The Dark Knight’ campaign). Wired have an alrticle on it here .
Reznor left Interscope and released 2 albums in 2008. Ghosts I-IV was released in digital format before physical copies were made available, and many different formats were made available on its physical release. Then in May 2008, he released ‘The Slip’ with no advance warning or promotion, as a free download from NIN.com. In January 2009 he released a 400GB HD file with live footage from a number of shows, via BitTorrent and in February he stated that after their 2009 tour with Jane’s Addiction, NIN will be on hiatus.
Wired have now featured a new innovation from NIN. This time it’s an iPhone App that allows you to connect with other NINs fans and share all sorts of media, Twitter style. What will this guy think of next? Well he’s going to incorporate a Wiki into his NIN.com site which will allow even more fan interaction with posting of videos, photos and remixes of songs. All moderated by ‘Super Fans’ for free, with certain special privileges.
All I can say is, he is most certainly not finished, and the music industry could do with more ‘Tribal Leaders’ (as Seth Godin would say) like this. Reznor understands the way consumers work when they are linked together by a common cause.
My question is, does this viral style work with new brands as effectivley? We’ve seen 42 Entertainment have succes recently with Year Zero and The Dark Knight, but would those campaigns have been as successful without the big brand name attached? It’s over to you guys.