Industry Roundup: Trent Reznor: 'I'm Not a Major Label Apologist'

Reznor defends his return to a major label, and secrets are revealed from his new streaming service in collaboration with Beats and Dr Dre. What have they been hiding?

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Trent Reznor on Returning to a Major Label

Before singing with Columbia Records for his new Nine Inch Nails album "Hesitation Marks," Reznor had been one of the leading musicians in defining how to independently release music online. That's why his resigning had been such a shock - but according to the man himself, major labels make a lot more sense than you might expect.

"If there used to be 100 people at a major working on a record now there are 18, but they're the good ones," he tells Spin (via Hypebot). "There's a lean, mean hunger. I'm not trying to be a major label apologist, I'm just telling you what I saw."

He continued: "To have a team of people that are better at that [marketing and distribution] than I am worldwide ... that felt like it was worth slicing the pie up monetarily. Our main agenda at the moment was to make people aware of it in the right context versus a little bit more money we might or might not make. And so far it's been pleasantly pleasant. Having people that actually kind of know what they're talking about. Having a team, it's been nice."

So there you have it. Major labels aren't all bad, when you're an established musician with a solid fan base and not likely to be dropped by them at a moment's notice. But compared to how they used to be, something positive really has changed.

Beats Reveals its Secret Streaming Recipe: Curated Playlists

Talking of Trent Reznor, what's been happening with the Daisy streaming service that he's been working on with Dr. Dre and his Beats imprint?

At the time, they hinted at having a solution to the issue of discovery when you've got millions of songs available to stream in an instant. It's a genuine issue, and one that Spotify has been blasted for time and time again.

So how can Daisy solve it? Part of their plan appears to be revealed, and it's not as magic as you might hope. GigaOm reveals that musicians and music writers have been drafted in to create regular playlists for listeners.

Playlists will be built around the type of listener - say, a 40-year-old country fan or a teenage hip hop listener - and also genres and activities, like running.

We think it sounds quite promising, but will reserve judgement until the system is released. What do you think? Let us know if you would find streaming playlists by pro curators useful int he comments. a 'To-Do' List for Checking Out Music

Have you ever been browsing a site like Ultimate Guitar and found a song that you want to listen to, but have to save it for later? Have you ever forgotten to come back to it?

Now there's a solution to help pull these tracks together into a playlist to hear back when you get some time, and it's called

The forthcoming app, currently invite-only, will add a 'listen later' button to any audio player on the web. One click of that, and the song is added to your own music to-do list to play back later.

It's a great idea, and reminds us of reading apps like Instapaper or Pocket which can save websites to digest when you're available. It's great that music finally has a solution too.

That's the end of this week's industry roundup. What do you think of these latest developments? Is Reznor going to prove himself wrong about major labels? Will Beats' new streaming platform overtake the likes of Spotify? Share your opinion below.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Sorry Trent, you don't get to be the independent distribution Jesus, and pretend that all major labels are just big indies now. We get it, you lost big on distribution, and you want back in to the machine. That's fine, but don't pretend like it's the best of both worlds. If it was, you would still be offering all of your albums as pay what you want downloads.