In the wake of the Radiohead’s In Rainbows release, it’s interesting to see that Trent Reznor (of NIN) has been thinking along the same lines. He recently toured with Saul Williams and has now produced his new album.
It’s being released on the Internet for download, similar to In Rainbows although you can get it for free or give him $5 if you want. Perhaps even more out there, Trent put a free torrent of a track up on thepiratebay himself.
For some back story, you can check out this interview with Trent and Saul. Trent says if he had a NIN album to release now he would do it the same way. Also, Trent mentions at the end that he actually gave Radiohead $5000 for In Rainbows. :)
I find it fascinating to see the music industry and artists in particular flailing about for new models of distribution. Chris Anderson had a good post recently about the music industry which talks about how the music industry is actually doing great by every metric…except CD sales. His point is that the music industry needs to take a broader definition of what comprises the industry itself.