Anderson, Nate. "Free Nine Inch Nails album tops 2008 Amazon MP3 Sales Charts." Ars Technica. 6 January 2009.
This article summarizes experiemental distribution of Nine Inch Nails's new album and the effects the new online distribution model had on sales. Nine Inch Nails released the album Ghosts I-IV under a Creative Commons license, which allows legal free sharing and remixing. Despite this, the album garnered huge profits; both via digital download on Amazon.com, and perhaps more significantly in limited edition "extras" sets. The Ars Techinca article goes on to pose two questions to Fred Beneson of Creative Commons: Why would fans buy the album when it could be had for free, and would Creative Commons Lisencing work for record labels? Bereson addresses these questions speculatively, with optimism as well as some analysis of the factors necessary for the success achieved by NIN.
This is a major success story for Creative Commons, and an example of a profit-making model that still offers free download and distribution of music. The profits of Ghosts I-IV speak to the appeal for a product that is not available for free download (extras, convenience, or the authenticity of supporting an artist directly). Understanding the presence of this demand is necessary for understanding the way people want to consume music in the digital age. Profits can be achieved via different music products and services.