„In Conversation: Trent Reznor“
Zweimal im Gespräch taucht die Frage auf ob Apples Musikstreaming-Dienst „erfolgreich“ ist; ob das Konzept „funktioniert“. Und zweimal umschifft er deutliche Worte: Es wäre „soweit lehrreich“ und „interessant“.
Sein genereller Optimismus in Bezug auf Musikstreaming, so wie er ihn bereits zuvor äußerte1, scheint jedoch ungebrochen.
We did a record with Saul Williams. I probably spent 18 months working on it with him — a real labor of love. We thought he was going to be signed to Interscope, but that didn’t work out. So I said, “Let me use your record as an experiment. I’ll cover the losses if it doesn’t work out.” I wanted to test out a simple scenario. It went something like this: To my database of people, we sent out a message saying, “Here’s a collaborative album I’ve worked on for X amount of time with Saul. Click on this box if you want the full album, not copy-protected, free. I know you can steal it anywhere you want anyway. All I want in return is your email address. Or, click on the box next to it: five dollars; it goes directly to Saul. You can have it for free or you can pay. I’m calling your bluff. Are you going to do the right thing?”
How’d that shake out?
Maybe 30,000 downloads occurred in the next week and less than 20 percent were paid for. I thought that second number would be higher. At the time, I felt I was making a genuine offer, worded simply and confrontationally, for something I thought had genuine value. So I was bummed out by the result. It took the wind out of my sails as far as thinking of direct-to-customer as a sustainable business for a musician. In a way, that experience gave me a preemptive look at music today. You’re not making money from albums; instead they’re a vessel for making people aware of you. That’s what led me to thinking that a singular subscription service clearly is the only way this problem is going to be solved. If we can convert as many music fans as possible to the value of that, in a post-ownership world, it would be the best way to go.