2008 releases artists digital downloads music

Trent Reznor releases “Ghosts”… free. Again.

Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts
Nine Inch Nails have just released Ghosts I-IV

I’m not sure how I didn’t catch whiff of this earlier, but Trent Reznor has done it again. Despite poor results from his “pay what you want for it” release with Saul Williams (“The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust“, which was available for download last year), Trent has decided to give the whole thing another whirl with the release of “Ghosts”, a brand new, 36 track, two hour long, four-volume instrumental release that’s caught me by surprise.

Head over to and take a look at the options there. As Trent explains on the site:

“I’ve been considering and wanting to make this kind of record for years, but by its very nature it wouldn’t have made sense until this point. This collection of music is the result of working from a very visual perspective – dressing imagined locations and scenarios with sound and texture; a soundtrack for daydreams. I’m very pleased with the result and the ability to present it directly to you without interference. I hope you enjoy the first four volumes of Ghosts.”

Trent still hopes that there’s some mood of “giving back” amongst the online music world, however, and accordingly lists four options in terms of what you would like to pay, and what you could receive.

  • For the price of zero (yes, zero) dollars, you could receive the first volume of Ghosts, which contains 9 tracks, and the complete PDF of the collection.
  • $5 gets you a download of all four volumes/36 tracks.
  • $10 provides you with not only the download, but also the collection on two CDs.
  • $75? Well, $75 gets you a fabric slipcase, 2 audio CDs, a data DVD and “a Blu-ray disc with Ghosts I-IV in high-definition 96/24 stereo and accompanying slideshow.”
  • And finally, for the price of $300, you get everything included in the $75 package, “along with an exclusive four-LP 180 gram vinyl set in a fabric slipcase, and two exclusive limited edition Giclee prints in a luxurious package.” Oh yeah; and Trent signs and numbers these.

Ok, so perhaps the final two “tiers” there might be a bit pricy for most. But at $5 and $10, I really, really hope that people give back to the musicians who make bold movements such as this one. A full 36 tracks for just $5 really can’t be beat. And, if we want more artists to pursue this route, then we need to encourage them.

Go on. Listen. Love. Support.


Edit – The site seems to be having some issues at the moment, probably due to the massive amounts of traffic…

Edit #2 – See this article from Ars Technica. Turns out Reznor has managed to sell all 2,500 copies of his $300 package already, grossing him at least $750,000 from a “free” release stunt. Hopefully labels and other bands will take note, and see this is a viable approach.

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