By: Stefan Kolle
We reported earlier on the Alternate Reality Gaming (ARG the band Nine Inch Nails (NIN) is using to promote it's latest album. For a full overview of all the (brilliantly conceived) activities that have taken place, a Wiki has been set up. I suggest to take a look.
Irony has it, that in the same week that Apple and EMI take the first long overdue step towards a removal of Digital Rights Management from digitally sold music, the record industry as a whole once again completely misses the point, and tries to undermine this marketing campaign.
Now the RIAA, the industry association, has started legal proceedings against some fansites that have made some NIN songs available for download - as NIN intended them to do!
Once again the industry shows itself utterly out of touch with reality, and bite the hand that feeds it. They have to learn (apparently the hard way) that the only way forward is trying to understand what makes their customers tick, and serve them what they want. As has been pointed out many times - most people have no inherent desire to steal copyrighted material, and are perfectly willing to pay for what they get, and ensure that an artist can make a good living too. However, right now, the consumer often has no choice but to download illegally to get the music he wants in the format he wants. And interestingly enough, those artists being downloaded most often, turn out to have the highest physical record sales too. Should make one think, shouldn't it? Bottomline is once again - be more customer centric, and you come out a winner.
And just another example of the music industry misses the point - Geffen Music tried to rig the Artist of the Month election on MSN agains NIN. I am speechless. How can corporations think again and again and again that they get away with these things, in a time where there are hundreds of thousands self professed investigators that will start digging into anything out of the ordinary on the internet? Two words - Walmart / Edelman