Well, it looks like Nine Inch Nails is joining the ranks of Radiohead. It was announced on their website that they are no longer affiliated with any record label. I have seen this coming for a while. Just recently there was video on YouTube were Trent Reznor was telling the crowd to steal his music. He was also preaching about how the labels were ripping them (the fans) off.
This is the beginning of a new era for the music industry and bands are starting to realize the power for their brand. That’s right, it’s the brand or image of a band that will make them money, not CD sales. Music will be given away for free or at low cost to gain fans that will attend shows and buy merchandise.
This is the beginning of a lot of change in an industry that is known for resisting it. I think you’re going to see bands getting sued by record labels when they try to jump ship early. Before they were worried about fans stealing music, now they have to worry about bands leaving them behind.