Trent Reznor announced today that he’d be distributing an album via the Internet–not a new Nine Inch Nails record, but the next album by Saul Williams, The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!, which Reznor says is the “most involved I’ve been with any project outside NIN since Antichrist Superstar.” The album’s official site launched today and is now taking pre-orders for its Nov. 1 release, and in a move that bears some similarity to In Rainbows‘ pay-as-you-go model, people can either get it for free or “directly support the artists involved in the creation of this music” and throw Williams five bucks.
People who pay nothing get the album as 192KBps MP3s, while those who chip in $5 also get higher-quality MP3s and FLACs of the album. (Everyone gets a PDF with art and lyrics as well.) As Reznor notes, Williams is “not the household name (yet!) that Radiohead is,” so finding out whether or not people will take a five-dollar flyer on an artist they might not yet know should, at the very least, provide a bit more evidence on whether or not the In Rainbows model is at all viable beyond the most Internet-beloved artists. (Personally, I’m going to kick Williams the money–after all, $5 is cheaper than a beer at most bars in New York, and those don’t even last 40 minutes most of the time.)
Saul Williams – The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust! [Official site]