NIN took a major step forward with the new album entitled Ghosts. Although after downloading and listening to the track I feel that it is simply an instrumental version of their typical industrial style, what I do think is important is that Trent Renzor has applied his talents to the Interactive realm by producing a body of music that is meant to accompany places that are meaningful to him.
I think it is also important that he is using an alternative method of distribution via the web for his new release and that he is being sensitive to the fact that there are people who will pay top dollar for a premium product as well as those who will certainly download it for free. Rather than making it illegal he has embraced those fans as well and given them a means of attaining his music free of charge and perfectly legal.
I also like that with his free download he gives people web graphics, backgrounds, icons and similar branded media as a means of allowing a very vocal group further market his NIN brand and to help it develop into the web cult that it seems to be heading for. Reznor has been waiting for the web his whole life. Its a playground for him and a place for him to thrive. And there is plenty of room for many people like him to do so.
I applaud this move by Reznor. I hope to see more artists take this route when releasing any type of medium be it music, video, art, animations, whatever!