Bye Bye SoundCloud, Hello Apple Music

Apple Music

Apple Music will stream DJ mixes, mashups, and remixes thanks to a partnership with legal DJ mix site Dubset. Will the SoundCloud exodus commence? SadCloud icon from Magnetic Magazine

DJs who for years have become increasingly frustrated at having their mixes, mashups and remixes removed from SoundCloud have a new saviour, in the unlikely form of Apple Music. In a new deal just inked between niche legal DJ mix site Dubset and the huge Apple Music streaming service, DJs will be able to upload their work legally to Apple Music, and see it available worldwide to the service's 11 million and growing subscribers.

This will be possible because of twin proprietary track ID analysis technologies used by Dubset called MixBank and MixScan, which will be able to identify bits of a song within other tracks, allowing the original creators, rights-holders and publishers to be compensated for the streams.

How does it work?

The way it works is that you submit a track or mix to Dubset, which analyses the audio and IDs the tracks included in it. When it finds a match, it checks the owners of the tracks and if there are any restrictions on them.

If the audio doesn't get flagged, it goes through to the streaming service (Apple Music in this case, but there are more coming too, according to Dubset), and here's the best part: not only do the labels, publishers, and original composers get paid, but also the creator of that remix, mixtape, or mashup.

In other words, for the first time ever in music streaming history, DJs will finally get a piece of the pie, although the size of said slice hasn't been revealed.

Dubset's been around for a while, but the major difference here is that by partnering with Apple Music (and potentially other streaming services in the future), the mix site and distribution service basically gets a giant platform with a millions-strong subscriber base from the get go.

For those who have been following, this is essentially what SoundCloud has been trying to do by tying up with Zefr (the track ID / content analysis technology behind YouTube), but is it too little too late now for the beleaguered streaming pioneer? There's no word yet on when you'll be able to upload your mixes and mashups, so only time will tell if this will be the final nail in the SoundCloud coffin...

What do you think about this streaming development? Is it lights out time for SoundCloud, especially since you stand a chance of getting paid for uploading a remix or mixtape? We'd like to know what you think.

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  1. I try very hard to avoid Apple - one of the nastiest companies about, from worker suicides to price gouging to war minerals to tilting the market away from the poor majority worldwide to outsourcing to tax evasion to competition by litigation to you name it.

  2. But it means that listeners will have to pay for the mixes, doesn't it?

    • It's not clear at this point, but with the way normal streaming in Apple Music (and Spotify, for that matter) works is that users just pay a monthly subscription fee. No news on whether or not an extra fee will be thrown in for listening to mixtapes and the like

  3. Irvin Cee says:

    Beatport Mixes is doing this for years, paying to publishers and the DJ that created the mixttape...

  4. My issue with any of this is you'll always be restrained. I could post a homemade mashup or remix and have it flagged because one artist or label might have issue. I could post a mix and have the same problem. Even with Beatport Mixes, you're trapped into only using their stuff, so an "outside" tune won't be allowed.

    Plus I wonder if Apple will pull some exclusivity you post a mix there and suddenly you're not allowed to post it anywhere else.

    I just personally like to keep it all "underground" and have the freedom to make mixes, remixes, and mashups as I see fit.

  5. Nik Howard says:

    Did not see this coming. Is it only for Apple Music subscribers snd can you upload with only a iTunes account?

  6. I like this, however I'm kinda uncomfortable with Apple knowing what music i own, and have steadfastly refused to use iTunes.

    As for the slice of the pie to the producer, do we really care about getting paid? We've been happy to mix and share for free until now and that's not likely to change i don't think. It will just be cool to upload your work knowing it's not gonna disappear over night!

    • Good point, I think for a lot of DJs it will be the exposure (and non removal) of their mixes that will prove the most beneficial. :) As for payment, here's a snippet from the original article on Billboard: "The service pays Dubset for the content. Dubset then figures out which label and publishers to pay. It retains a percentage of revenue for the service and pays the creator (the remixer or DJ) a share of revenue (White won’t provide the specific amount of each). Major labels and independent labels are paid at the same rates. Big DJs and small DJs also earn the same rates."

  7. Oh goodie, because let's add another module onto the already bloated software called iTunes. And yeah, at some point, someone has to feed in money to pay everyone. Which I see 3 ways of this happening: It's like Spotify where the payout is so minscule that the DJ might see a dollar off 100 plays or more, it's ad supported, or it's a monthly/yearly fee, which if it's the last case, no one will really use it. A couple questions though that need to be answered: What happens if you use a tune that isn't part of Dubset's licensing? Are you not allowed to have your mix on the service simply because of one tune? How long is the analyzing going to take? A day? Week? Month? Something important to know if you're trying to stick to a consistent release schedule.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this :) I'll try to help answer your questions - 1) From the original Billboard article: “Apple is just the start...The goal is to bring this to all 400 distributors worldwide." Which means, while the content might be somewhat limited for now, they plan to work with everyone, so hopefully 99% of tracks will be covered. Currently they have agreements with over 14k labels and publishers 2) It goes through a thorough analysis process (Dubset in-house licensing>>MixBank + Gracenote>>MixScan>>rights holder/original creator gives final approval). I imagine they would alert you to whichever tune wasn't approved, which could be removed from the mix with editing if you want to keep it on the service. 3) As for analysing length - a 60 minute mix takes about 15 minutes to analyse, after which MixBank checks it against the rules set by rights-holders.

  8. Ernest Murphy says:

    Here are a few more deets from a different source:

  9. i miss the old 1980s days of basement mixing. you could make a tape and if you had ties with anybody that work at a radio station or in any popular club. they would play your stuff and nothing was ever said about it. so much for the good old days.....

  10. Kenny Schachat says:

    Sorry, but the limiting factor here is that the listeners need to be Apple Music subscribers, whereas Sound Cloud and other sites are freely available to EVERYONE via the web. Now, I can just tell someone where to find me on Soundcloud and Mixcloud but if I say "Oh just subscribe to Apple Music and you can hear my sets and tracks, it will be met with a LOT of eye rolls.

    Apple may be fighting the good fight on encryption but they're one of the evil empires in a lot of other ways.

    • You make a fair point Kenny - I suppose it will open you up to more fans that already have Apple Music and gain exposure that way, whereas Soundcloud and the like are more accessible to the public and easier to mention in passing like you said. We'll have to see how this works out! :)

  11. DJ Hombre says:

    Interesting time for the new service Evermix to launch as well; no downloads with this, but in theory you upload/broadcast your mix live via an app.

  12. ?dam Duke says:

    Two Questions ....
    will be something upon payment ??
    with our existing tracks what happens ??

  13. Sandy Hoover says:

    The more I read about this, the more I see that this is not really a full replacement for soundcloud. one of the beauties of soundcloud is that you can play with things that are "off-label" and more underground/transnational. Anyway, Dubset is aimed at top tier music biz.

  14. ... is Mixcloud already proposing this for free ?

  15. Glyn Griffiths says:

    I'm looking back over the last few months worth of posts about Soundcloud and you guys are relentlessly negative about Soundcloud. For example... "Save your Soundcloud Mixtapes whilst you still can!" Kind of alarmist isn't it? It's digital. We have our mixes on our own hard-drives don't we? What's to save? What's your agenda? Soundcloud has been a phenomenal resource. I remember its welcome appearance into the space left by the tattered remnants of Myspace when Rupert Murdoch got his filthy hands on it. Since then it has led the way in providing a space for both producers and DJs alike to showcase their skills when Apple Itunes were still content to be a massive warehouse for back catalogues of music with absolutely zero added value. So Soundcloud has buckled to massive industry pressure not to allow DJ mixes. So what? They are actually illegal. They always have been. As you point out there are other places to put DJ mixes up. DJ mixes are a small part of Soundcloud. Ease up on the 'sinking ship' rhetoric. It's starting to look like you are being paid to slur them. And given who you are promoting in this article at Soundcloud's expense, that would be very dirty money indeed.

    • No agenda, we try to report DJ news in general, so if Soundcloud is taking down mixes for copyright issues, we'll try to warn you guys. It's truly a great resource, and we've recommended it fully in the past, though lately it's best used for original productions. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us though - no harm was intended with these posts, I'm sorry it made you feel that way. Cheers Glyn :)

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