When The Audience Gets To Play Too

NIN

Photo by TzatzikiCreative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

As reported in our Festival News, Nine Inch Nails has announced that they are launching a Ghosts Film Festival, where everyone is encouraged to freely use the music of Ghosts, the band’s latest album, to create new music videos. The best videos will be showcased in the festival, hosted by YouTube.

So, let’s recap: while record label execs are busy weeping over the demise of the traditional CD sales model, creative bands like Radiohead and NIN are creating new sales models, as well as new audience participation venues that invite everyone onstage. NIN has been particularly innovative in this regard: in 2007, the band partnered with 42 Entertainment to create an Alternate Reality Game around the Year Zero album.

Can new, lesser-known performers use the same mechanisms pioneered by NIN to make a living? This is certainly an open question at this time, but one thing is clear: the future of the music industry will be defined by the intersection of Web 2.0 with creative and playful music audiences.

- Ruben Puentedura

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