The $300 “ultra deluxe edition” of Nine Inch Nails‘ Ghosts I-IV, limited to 2500 copies, sold out in a couple days (I believe released Sunday, no longer available this morning). There are some manufacturing costs, but they don’t appear to be using any precious materials. So if an artist typically makes $1.60 on a $15.99 CD sale, profit from sales of the limited edition already matches profit from a CD selling hundreds of thousands of copies.
Then there are non-limited sales of a $75 merely “deluxe edition”, $10 CD, and $5 download, and whatever other products NIN comes up with around Ghosts.
The ultra deluxe success seems to me to validate the encouragement by some to pursue large revenue from rabid fans and collectors willing and able to pay for personalization, authenticity, embodiment, etc., rather than attempting to suppress zero cost distribution to the masses.
nin_ghosts_I-IV_mp3.zip (283.7 MB)