Trent Reznor, who recently added the title of Chief Creative Officer for Beats Electronics Inc. to his resume, hinted that the company's forthcoming digital music service, code-named "Daisy," will create a recommendation platform in which "the machine and the human would collide more intimately" when it launches next year.
The service will be based upon a technology platform built by MOG, an on-demand streaming music company that Beats purchased in July for less than $10 million. Beats executives have said they plan to build a new music service from the ground up, but did not reveal what it would look like or how it would differ from the competition.
Reznor, in a wide ranging profile about his life published in this week's New Yorker, said Beats' new service "uses mathematics to offer suggestions to the listener" and "would present choices based partly on suggestions made by connoisseurs, making it a platform in which the machine and the human would collide more intimately."
He said the service would be "like having your own guy when you go into the record store, who knows what you like but can also point you down some paths you wouldn't necessarily have encountered," but he did not go into detail about how Beats planned to accomplish this.
A Beats spokesperson declined to elaborate on Reznor's remarks.
Beats insiders tell Billboard that they hope to have label deals done by end of March in order to launch the new service around mid-year.
Music discovery, or "the problem of what to listen to next," is a vexing one for music services as well as record companies that believe people will buy more music if they were exposed to more bands that match their tastes. MOG had tackled that problem by making recommendations based on what its users and their Facebook friends listened to and "liked" on the social network.
But Daisy, which is a temporary name for Beats' new service, is likely to also offer recommendations from music experts and tastemakers.
If this sounds familiar, that could be because Spotify last week unveiled a new tab on its site that will present playlists from musicians, celebrities and genre experts. The recommendations will be customized to the listener's own playlists, preferences and listening patterns.
Spotify is currently the world's largest on-demand subscription music service with more than 5 million paying users. MOG, on the other hand, has fewer than a couple hundred thousand users and is shrinking as its new owner has virtually stopped marketing the service in order to pave the way for Daisy.