“Forget thinking you are going to make any real money from record sales,” wrote Reznor on his message board. “Make your record cheaply (but great) and GIVE IT AWAY [as DRM-free MP3s] … Collect people’s e-mail info in exchange (which means having the infrastructure to do so) and start building your database of potential customers. Then, offer a variety of premium packages for sale and make them limited editions / scarce goods.”
It’s a play straight out of Anderson’s playbook (and, in fact, Anderson cites Nine Inch Nails as an example of a business that understands “Free”).
To put it into practice, Reznor advises that bands distribute through Amazon, TopSpin or Tunecore; set up a simple, Flash-free site outside of MySpace (which he says is “dying and reads as cheap / generic”); never abuse their mailing list; use free tools from Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube and SoundCloud; and give people a reason to keep coming back to their site (Reznor’s own forums are an example of this strategy).
However, Reznor says the strategy of giving away music in return for e-mail addresses, then marketing pricey box sets and other premium goods to those e-mail addresses only makes sense if a band wants to keep all its money and stay in control of its image."(click for full article)
this can work for printed media too...