Trent Reznor is a hugely successful rock star who also now happens to work for Apple. The Nine Inch Nails frontman recently sat down with Billlboard to discuss his relationship with Beats' new parent company. Reznor didn't offer up many details on what's in the works between Apple and Beats, only confirming that his new duties are "related" to the chief creative officer position he held at Beats Music before Apple bought both the streaming service and Beats hardware line for $3 billion. Reznor said he remains focused on the music streaming / delivery side of things. In other words, he's got major influence over Apple's next steps in the space.
"I just think we haven't quite hit the right formula yet."
"It's in that world," he told Billboard. "It's exciting to me, and I think it could have a big enough impact that it's worth the effort. 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 admitted his role at Apple will inevitably take away from the time he spends making music, but he seems to think the tradeoff is worth it. "This is very creative work that's not directly making music, but it's around music."
Reznor suggested that despite the wide range of listening options available to consumers today, streaming music services still haven't reached their true potential. "I think the right streaming service could solve everybody's problems," he said. "I just think we haven't quite hit the right formula yet." It almost sounds like Reznor's lumping the current incarnation of Beats Music into that statement. Apple is reportedly planning to integrate the service — or a revamped version of it — directly within iTunes at some point next year.
"There's a whole generation of kids that listen to music on YouTube, and they'll suffer through that ad if there is one."
The rocker also offered his own take on the Apple / U2 album giveaway fiasco, saying "I am assuming the momentum of that situation led to the oversight in not thinking that people might feel intruded upon." He went on to say that Apple's generosity may ultimately further devalue music in the eyes of consumers, who just aren't buying songs like they used to during the iTunes Store's heyday. "There's a whole generation of kids that listen to music on YouTube, and they'll suffer through that ad if there is one. They're not going to pay a dollar for that song. Why would you? It's a complex problem." The entire interview is a good read, with Reznor discussing his film scoring collaborations with Atticus Ross and David Fincher (Reznor hints he's open to working under other directors) and the movies that influenced him growing up.