Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

March 19, 2008

Trent Reznor, TVT Records & iTunes

Here are four music news stories that are a clear sign of the times:

1) Last month TVT Records laid off most of its staff and filed for bankrupcy. Founded by Steve Gottlieb in his New York apartment in 1985, TVT achieved success after releasing music by Nine Inch Nails and KMFDM. In recent years, the label has focused on hip-hop acts such as Lil Jon, Pitbull and Ying Yang Twins.

Sources: Rueters and AllHipHop.

2) In recent weeks, Trent Reznor (former TVT Records act with Nine Inch Nails) earned $1.6 million in sales with NIN's new album, Ghosts I-IV, which was released independently, without a record label. Ghosts was offered to fans at various price points, from a free download to a $300 deluxe package.

Sources: and The Globe and Mail.

3) iTunes has surpassed Best Buy and Target to become the second largest seller of music on the planet, second only to Wal-Mart. However, the first-place retailer is cutting back on space for music CDs in its stores while download sales continue to grow, which means iTunes will likely surpass Wal-Mart by the end of 2008.

Apple says 50 million customers have bought over 4 billion songs since iTunes started, with 20 million downloads sold on Christmas Day 2007 alone.

Sources: and Engadget.

4) A December survey by The Pew Internet & American Life Project asked participants which technologies would be hardest to give up. The Internet, at 45 percent, narrowly edged out TV, at 43 percent. Five years ago, a similar survey rated the Internet at 38 percent and TV at 47 percent.

Sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Pew Internet.


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posted by Bob Baker @ 10:59 AM   5 comments


At Mar 19, 2008, 3:30:00 PM, Blogger Darren Nelsen said...

Yeppers! Independent digital distribution is the way to go. Just wish iTunes made it easier for independents to get into their system.


At Mar 19, 2008, 3:42:00 PM, Blogger evolvor said...

Darren, if you've checked out Tunecore or CDBaby, then you'll find its VERY EASY to get onto itunes. I would be more worried about marketing yourself then just getting on itunes though.

At Mar 20, 2008, 2:15:00 PM, Blogger Darren Nelsen said...

I'll have to check out Tunecore. CDBaby requires that you have a physical CD, which defeats the purpose.

At Mar 21, 2008, 5:48:00 PM, Anonymous Dan said...

That Apple will soon overtake Walmart can only be a good thing, Apple are a considerably more progressive company and have a vastly better ideology and politic.

What we've yet to see though as the download market matures, amidst all the excitment of crumbling major label models and artists gaining more control / bigger royalties, is how fans cherry picking songs from albums will affect artists output.

At Apr 15, 2008, 5:38:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

This is great! I grabbed a copy of the free NIN release, and it's really excellent - and a brilliant promotional material for the full package (and all the mp3 files are loaded with metadata, something I think a lot of people forget to do).

Just one thought. NIN and Radiohead have had a lot of press over the free release of material, and being fair, have made a load of money. But they do have the 'slight' advantage over the truly indie release. They were both signed before!

Both bands have had record labels with serious cash behind them plugging them in all the available media, and chucking suitcase-sized amounts of cash around to get them to the front of everyone's mind and on stages with captured audiences. We already love them! They are riding on the back of a lot of money already spent.

(This isn't meant to avoid the fact that they are also popular because they are good - I'm just cherry picking).

Surely this isn't _just_ the end model for all indie releases, but far more what the record labels (hopefully) will realise is the ideal business plan for their industry.

Just a thought.



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