Nike launched a new commercial for its SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness) range of products with "My Better Is Better Than Your Better" from hip-hop poet Saul Williams, who last year released the critically acclaimed "The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust". The album was produced by Trent Reznor -- a.k.a. Nine Inch Nails -- who persuaded Williams to put the record out directly, with fans being able to download it for $5.
Reznor followed this self-release path himself last week, with the hugely successful launch of the Nine Inch Nails instrumental album "Ghosts I-IV," put out directly in multiple formats at nin.com. According to numerous sources, the band sold out its complete run of 2,500 "Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition" versions (complete with vinyl, deluxe packaging and a Reznor autograph), which, at $300 apiece, would have grossed at least $750,000. According to Rolling Stone,
781,917 transactions were made for the album, which was also available (in addition to the $300 package) for a $5 download, a $10 physical copy or a non-ultra-deluxe limited edition version for $75, which amounted to $1,629,420 in the first week.
Singer-songwriter Pete Droge, whom we covered in SFS back in January, has scored yet a another TV commercial, this time for World Water Week and featuring his song "Into The Sunset" from his last album, "Under the Waves." As we reported in SFS, Droge has had a string of high-profile placements from this album.
If you want a bit of fun and a reminder of how crazy the "business" of the music business is, go to this article published in Blender that highlights the 20 biggest record cock-ups of all time.