The Trent Reznor Case Study by Michael Masnick

March 17, 2009 — Leave a comment

Here is a presentation given by Mike Masnick, President & CEO of Floor 64 and Editor of TechDirt, this past January at the 2009 midem Conference held in Palais des Festivals Cannes.

Masnick dissects and analyses the current business model being used by Trent Reznor of Nine In Nails and makes a case of how Reznor is creating the business model for the future of the music industry. Despite allowing free high quality downloads of his music and concert footage, encouraging fans to alter his work without fear of legal action, Reznor manages to make money. In essence, Reznor has created a business model that works.

Masnick sums up Reznors business model in a simple formula:

CwF + RtB = $$$

and he offers two explanations of this formula:

Connect with Fans = Compete with Free
Reason to Buy = Return to Business

“…rather than focusing on complaining about pirates and worrying about new technologies, (ed. Reznor is actually) focusing on how to put together a business model that works.”

The high level take away from this is that Reznor continues to connect with his fans no matter what the cost of his product and achieves this by always insuring value in his communication with them.

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