I’ve waited a LONG time to be able to make the following announcement: as of right now Nine Inch Nails is a totally free agent, free of any recording contract with any label. I have been under recording contracts for 18 years and have watched the business radically mutate from one thing to something inherently very different and it gives me great pleasure to be able to finally have a direct relationship with the audience as I see fit and appropriate. Look for some announcements in the near future regarding 2008.
With no major-label contract, Nine Inch Nails is more likely to experiment with free downloads, using MP3s as promotions and other tactics that the mainstream industry has been avoiding. NIN’s move follows a similar announcement from Radiohead.
While the announcement is likely to generate a lot of this is the end of mainstream music industry posts, the labels don’t make their money from aging singer-songwriters – they make their money from young bands that make a splash before they have the clout to get decent contracts.