Apple's Trent Reznor Says YouTube Was 'Built On Backs Of Free Stolen Content,' Google Responds


(Hypebot) – Apple execs usually prefer to extol the virtues if their products rather than criticize competitors. But Nine Inch Nails front man and Apple Music product design exec Trent Reznor took the low road when asked about Google's You Tube. Now Google has responded.

In a Billboard interview, Apple Music exec and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor was asked: "YouTube has been increasingly vilified by the labels. How do you view its current standing?" Reznor replied:

"Personally, I find YouTube’s business to be very disingenuous. 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."

A Google spokesperson responded to Reznor's comment with this statement:

The overwhelming majority of labels and publishers have licensing agreements in place with YouTube to leave fan videos up on the platform and earn revenue from them. Today the revenue from fan uploaded content accounts for roughly 50 percent of the music industry's YouTube revenue. Any assertion that this content is largely unlicensed is false. To date, we have paid out over $3 billion to the music industry – and that number is growing year on year.

Reznor Is On YouTube

Reznor's disdain for YouTube has not extended to a Prince-like ban on his music there, however. Nine Inch Nails has an extensive official YouTube channel with almost 23 million total views and 93K subscribers.