I went on a bit of a rant last week about record companies. Specifically, I said that I don't understand why (established) artists don't bypass the record companies and hook up with Amazon and iTunes as a distribution media. I also said that IMHO, CD sales were just an advertising method to get people to buy tickets to your performances. After all, touring is where most people actually make their income (as opposed to CD sales).
Not that he takes MY advice , but Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails is offering his new album as a free download on the NIN site. He's touring against this album, so it appears that his strategy is to use the CD to get people to the performances.
Way to go Trent! I think this is forward thinking on his part. He's also the first guy to released tracks in GarageBand, Pro Tools, etc. format so that his fans could play around with remixes. This guy is really leading edge and is going to show the rest of them how it's done!
(I'll quit ranting - for now)