UPDATE (2:10 PM EDT): Sources confirm that Reznor will remain with Beats Music. Get the full story.
Reps for both parties are pouring cold water on reports that Trent Reznor has stepped down from his position as Chief Creative Officer for Beats Music.
USA Today has published a feature in which the Nine Inch Nails frontman is said to have “reportedly left the company” he had been working at since at least October 2012. The report doesn’t attribute the source of its information, and there’s no further detail on the rocker’s apparent departure.
A spokesperson for Reznor and for Beats say the report is inaccurate. Though they’ve not specified which elements of the report are false, and which are indeed accurate. The tale also notes one of Beats' principal technology executives, Fredric Vinna, has recently exited to Spotify, and its co-founder Ola Sars has apparently joined an unidentified Spotify-backed venture.
Apple last week confirmed the industry’s worst-kept secret when it announced it would purchase Beats Music and Beats Electronics for $3 billion. For that, Apple could snaffle Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, a hot brand in headphones and mobile speakers, and the fledgling Beats Music digital service, which boasted about 250,000 subscribers at the time of the announcement. The deal is expected to close by Sept. 30, the end of Apple’s fiscal fourth quarter.
Some outlets are suggesting Reznor has taken the moral high ground. Reznor has previously waged a war of words with Apple, blasting the tech giant in 2009 after the iTunes Store banned NIN’s The Downward Spiral app, Consequence of Sound notes. “You can buy ‘The Downward Fucking Spiral’ on iTunes,” he said, “but you can’t allow an iPhone app that may have a song with a bad word somewhere in it.” His tirade got considerable darker from that point on.
Reznor spoke to New Zealand's 3 News earlier this year, describing his role as the chief architect of Beats Music which had been “two years of effort.”