Many artists post new or demo songs, live performances, or other free music downloads their websites. Record labels are teaming up with magazines, like the Bloc Party vs NME CD where their new single "Flux" is remixed and the CD is attached to the cover of the magazine.
It's a great way to promote unknown artists and get cheap exposure. Everything from famous to obscure is posted on Spinner.com.
And Radiohead has the clout to subvert iTunes or any record label to sell their album by themselves on the internet. They even let fans pay whatever they want for the album.
So Saul Williams is following suit. But Saul doesn't have the reputation of Thom Yorke and Co., so you can get it for free... or 5 bucks.
Saul does create a cool hip-hop/rock fusion that is backed by producer Trent Reznor and features him on vocals in several songs. This is the most involved Trent has been in an project outside of NIN for a long time, so it's worth a listen for any fans out there. Plus, it's got a kick ass cover of Trent singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday."
Now I'd like to know the return on an endeavor like this. How many people pay upfront? How many download for free? How many pay after-the-fact because they liked the album so much? You decide. And in the meantime, check out Saul Williams... for free or throw him a couples bones.
Here's another innovative promotional piece that I grabbed from Saul's website. The content changes and you can download the album right here.