In what will be a worrying development for fellow music platforms, industry giants Apple Music have signed a potentially game-changing partnership with Dubset Media Holdings that will allow streaming of remixes and DJ mixes that have up until now evaded licensed services due to complex copyright issues.
This will mean that thousands of mash-ups and DJ mixes will be plucked from relative obscurity and given a platform on the second largest paid for music service in the world.
This is all possible because of Dubset – a digital distributor that has developed a proprietary software called MixBank that analyses remixes and DJ mixes, identifying each track used by cross checking it with Gracenote’s database. The final step is processed by MixScan – Dubset’s software that effectively pulls apart each uploaded mix to ascertain what’s inside. This will have the task of assigning royalties where they’re due, as well as determining how long each track was played for, with shorter lengths being paid less than longer.
But it’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds – each mix will likely include a minimum of 20 tracks, where there can be anywhere up to ten publishers involved – so a single mix could have as many as 600 separate parties all due a slice of the cake. So far, Dubset has reached agreements with over 14,000 labels and publishers.
On the other side of the fence, rights holders will have the ability to blacklist tracks, limit how much of them is heard, or even prevent an artist from being associated with another artist. On the downside, this could get quite irritating for DJs uploading a finely crafted, well thought out mix – when after an upload they receive an email saying one track isn’t allowed so the whole mix gets canned.
Photo: Steve Aoki
Back on the plus side, the service will pay all DJs the same rate, so your bedroom jocks and unheard of hopefuls will be getting the same rate of pay as big room EDM megastars like Steve Aoki, who had this to say about the new partnership ““Remixes are a huge part of our culture – they allow DJs and fans to put our own creative spin on music… Apple working with Dubset now is a really simple solution to something traditionally complex, and allows everyone to make money on this content for the first time.”
And while labels will look forward to this extra revenue, Dubset CEO Stephen White hasn’t commented on just how much everyone involved would receive – Spotify has notoriously caused controversy with its royalty policy.
So while there still might be some teething problems, the partnership is undoubtedly a monstrous platform for the DJ mix, and one that has the potential to change the way we listen to dance music online forever.