When Apple announced plans to acquire Beats Electronics and Beats Music earlier this year, Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor’s involvement with the streaming music service under Apple’s ownership quickly came in question. A spokesperson for Beats Music said Reznor was still with the company at the time and we reported that Reznor would in fact join Apple despite major staff changes at Beats during the transition. Reznor, who has been credited as Beats Music Chief Creative Officer, has finally opened up about his current role at Apple in an interview with Billboard revealing that he’s “fully in it right now” on an unannounced music project…
In the interview, Reznor’s role is described as an evolution of his role at Beats Music:
“It’s related to that. Beats was bought by Apple, and they expressed direct interest in me designing some products with them. I can’t go into details, but I feel like I’m in a unique position where I could be of benefit to them. That does mean some compromises in terms of how much brain power goes toward music and creating. This is very creative work that’s not directly making music, but it’s around music.”
While Reznor hinted that he may be designing some products with Apple, he described the music-related project he’s involved in as in the world of music delivery: “I’m fully in it right now, and it’s challenging, and it’s unfamiliar and it’s kind of everything I asked for — and the bad thing is it’s everything I asked for.”
Reznor described working with Apple after the $3 billion acquisition earlier this year as “flattering”, adding that he believes streaming music is the right model for music distribution and that “the right streaming service could solve everybody’s problems.”
Apple is reportedly aiming to potentially rebrand the Beats Music subscription streaming service, possibly for a debut around February 2015. Recent reports have also claimed that Apple is pressuring the music industry on streaming music fees in an effort to cut the price of Apple’s streaming subscription service in half.
During the interview, Reznor also shared his thoughts on the recent U2 album giveaway which prompted a large number of user complaints and resulted in a tool for hiding the album. Reznor said he was with Bono at the Apple event where the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch were revealed last month and described the aggressive giveaway as a misstep.
As an artist, when I make a piece of music, I’d like you to know it’s out there. I don’t want to force it down your throat, but I would like you to know that if you’d like to, you might brush against it — it exists somewhere. So I can see the incentive behind what they wanted to do. […] I think the misstep was the wording: If it would’ve been, “Here it is, if you want it, come grab it…” I am assuming the momentum of that situation led to the oversight in not thinking that people might feel intruded upon.
You can read the full interview with Trent Reznor from Billboard.com.