Portishead Files for Free Agency

PHOTO: Portishead on Flickr by rubberdreamfeet CC BY-NC-SA

According to their MySpace page, the band Portishead is now “free of a deal and free of comittment [sic]”. They are also seeking distribution ideas from their fans, and Creative Commons has a suggestion: try what Nine Inch Nails tried.

While Portishead mention an aversion to giving away music for free, our thoughts immediately turned to a CC+ licensing model similar to what Nine Inch Nails used in marketing Ghosts I-IV and The Slip this past year. NIN gave away their music for free under a CC BY-NC-SA license, but they also found immediate and substantial financial return as well as seeing their long-term sales flourish.

NIN achieved this by selling different versions of the same content; there was the initial free download of the first nine tracks of Ghosts, but fans could also purchase a $5 download of the whole album, a $10 2xCD set, a $75 DVD box set, and finally, a limited edition $300 ultra-deluxe box set signed and numbered by Trent himself, all of it CC licensed.

Hey, Portishead: As a NIN fan who only recently came to discover your music, I say, “Try this!” Creative Commons makes great points about your dedicated, rabid fanbase, and I believe you could have just as much success and Mr. Reznor and company did. Maybe more. Because, everyone who follows in NIN’s lead is going to get at least a looksee from that band’s rabid fanbase, and that could expand your audience even more.

Just my two cents going *plink*.