Apple Music steals SoundCloud’s thunder with landmark remixes deal

For a long time, SoundCloud was the music streaming platform of choice for a huge number of dance music producers.

That was partly because of the Berlin-based platform’s much-celebrated usability and sharing tools.

But it was also because SoundCloud was a surefire host of content that may infringe established copyrights.

This was particularly true when it came to unofficial remixes – a cornerstone of the creative dance music community online, but a bugbear of those whose works were being used without payment.

If use of these copyrights was not properly cleared, it meant they were too problematic for the likes of Spotify or Apple Music.

Complex copyright clearance was not something that individual DJs – messing around during a break from touring or, more commonly, their day job – could fulfill.

Thus, SoundCloud became a natural choice for these remixes.

But then, back in late 2014, SoundCloud started to go legit.

Stephen White

“This is a very important day for the music industry.”

Stephen White, Dubset

Last year, dance music DJs and producers hit a wall of frustration as their copyright-infringing remixes began to be bluntly removed from the service following takedown requests from rights-holders.

This situation looks unlikely to be reversed: as we stand today, SoundCloud is on a mission to launch a copyright-abiding subscription service, having given away chunks of equity to major music companies such as Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group. (It remains unlicensed by Sony Music Entertainment.)

The days of the barely-legal remix being hosted and accessed on established streaming services are therefore looking pretty endangered.

At least, they were until yesterday.

Dubset Media Holdings, the music licensing conduit business endorsed by David Guetta, has formally launched MixBANK, the first clearance and distribution platform for mix and remix content.

The US company claims that MixBANK enables ‘DJs, Labels, Publishers, Distributors and Music Services [to] collect on new royalties that are earned as a result of the mix & remix marketplace’.

It does so by identifying the copyrighted music used within a mix and clearing the use of that music through the appropriate labels and publishers.

Apple Music is obviously impressed, as it’s just signed a landmark deal with Dubset/MixBANK, which means users can now expect a swathe of DJ mixes and unofficial remix content to become available on the platform.

“This is a huge step forward for DJs and dance music culture.”

Tiesto (pictured, main)

“This is a very important day for the music industry,” said Stephen White, Dubset CEO.

“Until now the major music services could not offer DJ mixes and unofficial remix content on their services. Although DJs were able to sample tracks during live performances, they were not allowed to legally distribute the recordings.

“Most of this content has lived in the shadows of unlicensed pirate distribution channels with neither the original artist, composer, nor the DJ getting compensated for their creative work.

“We are thrilled to make this amazing new content available on Apple Music, as it will only enhance the listener experience on one of the largest music distribution platforms in the world.”

Added DJ superstar Tiesto: “This is a huge step forward for DJs and dance music culture. Delivering remix content to Apple Music through Dubset is an amazing development.

“Dance music fans are the biggest winners here because they will now have access to great remixes on the same platform that they listen to our original tracks.”


“This deal can begin to ensure that the thousands of hours of DJ Mix content created every week starts generating royalty income for DJs, writers, artists, publishers and labels.”

Mark Lawrence, AFEM

Less than 18 months ago, the Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) launched ‘Get Played Get Paid’ in response to an estimated $500M shortfall in annual royalty payments from consumption of electronic music online, in clubs,  at festivals and on air.

The campaign has a simple objective; ‘where electronic music is played, the right people should get paid’.

Mark Lawrence, CEO of the Association For Electronic Music (AFEM), told MBW:

“Electronic music is all too often consumed for free.

“Our genre has grown hand in hand with the rapid growth of streaming and digital services yet, despite billions of online plays, most of our creators and rights-holders earn very little for their efforts compared to their ‘pop’ peers.  This is the first move to correct the imbalance.”

He added: “The deal announced today can begin to ensure that the thousands of hours of DJ mix content created every week starts generating royalty income for the DJs, writers, artists, publishers and labels involved.

“AFEM applauds Apple and Dubset (itself an AFEM member) for taking the first step into monetizing one of the key points of consumption of the worlds fastest growing genre.”Music Business Worldwide

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