Trent Reznor still coming to terms with the sales for NiggyTardust. And although he alludes to the idea that music is ultimately “free”, he still feels that a physical product is worthwhile. At this point in time anyway. Down the line, when digital distribution has an even stronger sense of ubiquity, will that continue to ring true? Vinyl heads, state your case. Interview with Saul Williams, who supposedly has a very different perspective, forthcoming tomorrow. Link

What did you learn from the experience?
If I could redo everything and start again, I think having a physical product is a good thing. I think that having some more coordination on our part–and I’ll take the blame on that because there was an urgency to get this done and get it out that I was the ringleader for–I think if we could wave a magic wand and do it again I think being able to offer an inexpensive version in addition to a premium physical product that could be shipped out afterward.

On day one you can buy it online and it’s also in the store. But the manufacturing (of CDs) is the leak (to file-sharing sites) for everything and the leak is important to get around. The leak blows momentum. It happens and it’s going to happen on every release there is. It’s a fact of life. But that leak happens once it leaves mastering and goes to manufacturing, if it hasn’t by then, then it certainly does at that point. I like the energy of release day, the excitement of watching blogs light up and bulletin boards. I think that’s an important spike in attention. And the only way I can see to accommodate a physical release if it goes to manufacturing after the thing is in the hands of people. But I do think there is a need for presence in physical retail.

see also:
Saul Williams’ NiggyTardust Album A Flop?
Niggy Tardust Presented By Saul Williams For Online Release Only, Free If You Want It To Be