Can Trent Reznor and Apple save the music industry?

When Nine Inch Nails finished their tour last summer in support of last year’s album, Hesitation Marks, lead singer Trent Reznor was hoping to spend lots of down time with his family. That didn’t happen.

Since he became the Chief Creative Officer of the streaming service Daisy in January 2013 collaborating with Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics, Reznor’s role has come into question since Apple bought out Beats.

When Apple finalized its Beats acquisition this summer for an estimated $3 billion, Reznor was encouraged by Apple to stay on board so they work together for future ideas. Reznor was flattered.

“They (Apple) expressed direct interest in me designing some products with them,” Reznor tells Billboard Magazine. “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.”

Reznor, 49, says his involvement with Apple won’t necessarily be making music, but it will be around music, especially when it comes to streaming music.

“I am on the side of streaming music, and I think the right streaming service could solve everybody’s problems.”

“Ownership is waning. Everybody is comfortable with the cloud — your documents, who knows where they are? They are there when you need them. That idea that I’ve got my records on the shelf doesn’t feel as important even to me as it used to. I just think we haven’t quite hit the right formula yet.”

Reznor, who studied computer engineering for three semesters in college, has had his share of worries about music in today’s digital age, but he thinks there’s a stream of possibilities when it comes to digital music.

“It’s exciting to me, and I think it could have a big enough impact that it’s worth the effort,” says Reznor. “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 will take part in a keynote Q&A at the Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Music Conference on Nov. 5th Universal City’s Globe Theater, so hopefully he’ll be able to elaborate what specific music project(s) he’s involved with.

 

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