Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor has been working with audio firm Beats for a little while now, teasing fans with the promise that “a number of very interesting projects that will start to emerge next year… it’s probably not what you’re expecting!” earlier this year.
True, unless what they were expecting was a recommendations-focused streaming music service called Daisy.
During an interview with the New Yorker, Reznor has revealed some details about the plans, including the fact that Daisy is expected to launch early in 2013, and “uses mathematics to offer suggestions to the listener… [but also] 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 also compares Daisy to Spotify: “Here’s sixteen million licensed pieces of music,’ they’ve said, but you’re not stumbling into anything. What’s missing is a service that adds a layer of intelligent curation.”
Of course, the interview was presumably given before Spotify’s announcement last week of precisely that: a new layer for its service of intelligent curation from artists, DJs and music experts.
In fact, the roots of ‘intelligent’ digital music curation go back a fairly long way – Nokia’s Music Recommenders initiative from 2006 springs to mind.
Beats and Reznor combined should certainly have the pulling power to sign up some interesting curators, but it’s fair to wonder whether Daisy will reach a niche audience compared to curation built on top of Spotify, Deezer and other large streaming services.
Even so, Reznor working on Beats, together with Neil Young working on his own Pono high-fidelity downloads store, are examples of artists putting their money where their mouth is to try to influence the evolution of digital music services. 2013 will be an interesting year in this regard.