Reznor Vs. Radiohead

Or, Reznor Vs. In Rainbows, if you will. As you all know, they’ve both found success experimenting with album price points in a big way, and debuting music online. And rumor has it they’ll both be headlining Lolla ’08. On top of that, they’re both using online video networks to commission fans to create visual pieces for their records. With the help of YouTube, Trent’s asking listeners to make Ghost vids. Via NIN:

The concept is for you to take whatever tracks you feel inspired by from Ghosts … and create what you feel should accompany them visually … This isn’t a contest and you don’t win elaborate prizes — it’s meant to be an experiment in collaboration and a chance for us to interact beyond the typical one-way artist-to-fan relationship.

You can head to NIN’s YouTube channel to see Reznor explain the project in more detail. Radiohead’s also just announced animators can put together a video for an In Rainbows tune. They will have a prize, though: The Heads will select a winner — after three judging stages — who nabs $10,000 and gets to bring their video dream to complete fruition, etc.

The first stage of the competition opens today with a 4/27 deadline. The first stage is where you get to submit storyboards. As the press release puts it, “[They] may range from basic sketches with words to more complex submissions in video formats, using the song of their choice from In Rainbows.” And, as the video mentions, you can get more info about the next stages at Aniboom. With all these overlaps, clearly it’s only a matter of time before one music industry innovator starts dissing the other. Oh, wait, here we go…


Via Ars Technica:

“I think the way [Radiohead] parlayed it into a marketing gimmick has certainly been shrewd,” Reznor said when speaking to Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Michael Atkin. “But if you look at what they did, though, it was very much a bait and switch to get you to pay for a MySpace-quality stream as a way to promote a very traditional record sale.”

Reznor is referring to Radiohead’s release of In Rainbows as lossy 160kbps (max) MP3 downloads, which many would argue are sub-par when compared to DRM-free offerings from Amazon and iTunes Store (both of which offer 256kbps DRM-free music). Furthermore, Radiohead’s album is also no longer offered as a digital download, as the band openly stated that they were still going to rely on traditional labels and distribution channels for the rest of In Rainbows’ sales.

“There’s nothing wrong with that,” Reznor continued, “but I don’t see that as a big revolution [that] they’re kinda getting credit for.” In addition to the quality of Radiohead’s MP3s, NIN’s frontman also took issue with the band’s omission of artwork and altogether not taking care of the fans. “To me that feels insincere. It relies upon the fact that it was quote-unquote ‘first,’ and it takes the headlines with it.”

My download is bigger than your download, Thom.