Columbia Records is the label that How To Destroy Angels signed with in 2012 to release An Omen EP and Welcome Oblivion, and Nine Inch Nails signed with in 2013 to release Hesitation Marks and its accompanying singles. NIN had previously been a free agent after many years on Interscope Records. In 2014, Columbia also released Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's score for Gone Girl.
After How To Destroy Angels signed with the label in 2012, Trent Reznor made the following statement on Facebook about returning to a major label:
Regarding our decision to sign with Columbia, we've really spent a long time thinking about things and it makes sense for a lot of reasons, including a chance to work with our old friend Mark Williams. There's a much more granular and rambling answer I could give (and likely will in an interview someplace) but it really comes down to us experimenting and trying new things to see what best serves our needs. Complete independent releasing has its great points but also comes with shortcomings.
In interviews with Techdirt and SPIN, he elaborated further:
"The main reason I do what I do is I want to do something that matters. I want to be able to create art that reaches the maximum amount of people on my terms.... That was a key component... That was why we wound up considering, and ultimately going with, a label, and not just a label, but a major label, for How to Destroy Angels. Because it came down to us -- us being the band now -- sitting around and identifying what our goals were. And the top priority wasn't to make money. It was to try to reach the most amount of people, and try to reach the most amount of people effectively, that doesn't feel like it's coming completely from my backyard. Because I don't want this project, ultimately, to just be dismissed as 'side project' or... (*loud sigh*) 'patronizing affair with Trent and his wife.' Sounds terrible, you know?"
"If there used to be 100 people at a major working on a record, now there are 18, but they're the good ones. There's a lean, mean hunger. I'm not trying to be a major-label apologist, I'm just telling you what I saw. Instead of me and Rob Sheridan trying to figure things out, there's an extra 15 people and the sense that someone in France was aware of what we were doing — instead of us hoping we'd remembered that France existed. So when a Nine Inch Nails album was in the works, and the mission was to try to make as many people aware of it as we can, we thought, 'Let's try it. Let's see what happens.' Nine Inch Nails feels bigger than it ever has. Is it because we're on Columbia? Is it scarcity? I don't know, but it doesn't feel bigger in the sense that we've desperately adopted some new clothing style. It feels organic, and it feels good not to be worrying about whether or not we shipped vinyl to the cool record store in Prague."