Trent Reznor Rips YouTube For Profiting Off Of Musicians


Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor has a big problem with YouTube.

“Personally, I find YouTube’s business to be very disingenuous,” Reznor told Billboard. “It is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that’s how they got that big. I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It’s making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers. That’s how I feel about it. Strongly. We’re trying to build a platform that provides an alternative — where you can get paid and an artist can control where their [content] goes.”

He wouldn’t discuss the financials of Apple Music.

“I’m not looking at the financials as much, but through [the lens] of a consumer. When Jimmy and I first sat down years ago, it was very clear that the future is streaming. And I bring to that the burden and legacy of having come from the system before that, where livelihood could be made selling physical products and life made sense, you knew who the enemies were and you knew how to get your music out… And in this state of disruption, what interests me most as an artist, and what has been great about working with Jimmy before Apple and within the Apple ecosystem, is trying to bring that sense of opportunity to the musician.”

“The last 10 years or so have felt depressing because avenues are shutting down,” Reznor continued. “Little shrines to music lovers — record shops — are disappearing… And every time there’s a new innovation, the musician is the one that didn’t have a voice at the table about how it’s presented. I thought, if I could make a place where there could be more opportunities, and it comes with more fertile ground, and music is treated with a bit more with respect, that interests me. It’s not, “Oh, I hope I get on that taco commercial.”