Trent Reznor, the frontman of Nine Inch Nails has always been pro-filesharing and admitted to downloading music using BitTorrent. Unlike others in the music biz, the NIN members are no stranger to BitTorrent.
“We use torrents ourselves, and we know that most NIN fans are tech-savvy and familiar with file-sharing, so we want to experiment with ways to use that to our advantage, instead of making the mistake of trying to fight or ignore it, as so many artists and labels do.” NIN’s Art Director Rob Sheridan explained to TorrentFreak last year.
In fact, when they released the album ‘Ghosts‘ for free last year their server couldn’t handle the high traffic numbers and downloads, so the linked to the torrents they had uploaded to The Pirate Bay instead. Thanks to The Pirate Bay, many fans didn’t have to wait till the server recovered, and the torrent quickly became one of the most downloaded files on the tracker.
With the release of their tour promo NIN/JA today, NIN decided to prevent similar server troubles, and the band now offers .torrent downloads for the higher quality (and size) downloads. The tracker used for the torrents is hosted by the band itself on the tracker.nin.com subdomain. The tracker is already being used by thousands of fans just hours after it went up.
Self-hosted BitTorrent trackers may become a new hype. Two weeks ago, the government-owned Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) had set up its very own BitTorrent tracker to distribute some of their TV-shows.
Thus far, we haven’t spotted NIN’s tour sampler on any of the public torrent sites, but it won’t take long before it spreads. The official website requires people to submit their email address in order to get the links to the DRM-free downloads. It’s well worth it though.
Update: Apparently the tracker at nin.com was also used for some of the previous releases, we were not aware of this.