Musical magic man Trent Reznor is working with Apple on something or other, after the Beats Chief Creative Officer came on board following the acquisition. He says that Apple was interested in working with Reznor directly in “designing some products” following the deal in an interview with Billboard, and also say that the partnership would focus on the “world” of music delivery, though he won’t go into specific detail.
Reznor did say that it’s a project he’s currently in the midst of, and one that he’s giving the bulk of his attention to at the moment. The musician, who has a background in computer engineering and has long focused on music with heavy electronic influences, said that this time around the focus isn’t on making music directly. He summed up his current feelings on the Apple collaboration as follows:
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.
In the past, Reznor has provided his music free for download in order to eschew the constraints of record labels, and in the Billboard interview he expresses support for the streaming model, saying that the “right streaming service could solve everyone’s problems.” He also noted that the concept of “ownership is waning,” because everyone is now “comfortable with the cloud.”
TechCrunch has reported previously that Apple would look to shut down Beats Music, the streaming service it acquired along with the parent company back in May. Subsequent reports clarified that Apple would most likely sunset the Beats Music brand, while adding a functionally similar streaming service to iTunes at the same time. It’s possible Reznor’s role at Apple is related to these plans, although there’s also a suggestion that he’s working on something entirely new in the scant information Reznor did provide.
Apple could use some rejuvenation in its traditional music delivery mechanisms, too. The iTunes desktop app remains one of its weakest links in terms of product design, and conceivably a musician with a technical background and a deep appreciation for Apple’s tech could help in that regard.