BEIJING, May 6 (Xinhuanet) -- U.S. rock band Nine Inch Nails was offering its new album through its website on Monday morning -- for nothing.
The 10-track record, called "The Slip," is available
in its entirety in several formats -- including MP3 and high-quality, "lossless"
audio compression options like FLAC -- via a link on NIN.com. All of the formats
come free of digital rights management.
In a post on the website, the band's leader, Trent
Reznor, said simply, "Thank you for your continued and loyal support over the
years -- this one's on me."
This is the first time Nine Inch Nails has made a new
album available completely and exclusively for free as a digital download. In
March, the group released nine songs from its instrumental album "Ghosts I-IV"
for free on the site, with the full 36 tracks costing 5 U.S. dollars.
Before that, the British rock act Radiohead broke
with convention by offering its 2007 album, "In Rainbows," online under a
tip-jar-style setup in which people could name their own price -- including
Nine Inch Nails sold more than 10 million albums in
the U.S. between 1992 and 2007. But they have been outspoken critics of the
music industry and the price of CDs.
Reznor has attacked his former record label Universal
for "ripping off" fans, and once told a crowd to "steal, steal and steal some
The band's deal with Universal has now ended, but
"The Slip" will still be coming out on CD and vinyl in July and will use
traditional brick-and-mortar distribution, Reznor said.