The downward spiral
As has been said before, companies producing media content like books, music, audio & multimedia recordings in general, face a great amount of uncertainty as regard to the demand their products or services will spur. Their investment faces great risk & uncertainty too. When a manager decides on a firm's available budget plan, he should also consider other alternative business plans which could return significant revenues. He should also estimate a possible outcome, as regard to the expectations of the company's capital investors.
Managers should flow with the changing pace of technologies which affect the use of communication products by their customers. In addition, clever advertising tactics will grasp more sales translated in revenues & operating profits.
So... how is this parallel to NIN's concept album? Well, if none of the above becomes a realistic scenario, the inevitable downward spiral occurs by reducing the qualified personnel that creates content, by reducing operating expenses which would otherwise optimize a company's resources, and last but not least, by reducing equipment with the negative effect of attracting less audiences which means lesser advertising revenues, lesser financial resources.