Dubset offers legal DJ mixes to Apple, Spotify

The biggest differentiator to once exist between SoundCloud and all other popular music streaming sites was the website’s offering of unofficial, user-uploaded content that the major labels don’t release. But back in March and May of this year, Spotify and Apple Music broke deals with Dubset, a music rights management service. And as of this past Friday, Spotify started finally using this service and streaming original mixes. The first song to be released in this new, mixed originals format is DJ Jazzy Jeff’s recreation of Anderson .Paak’s “Room in Here.”

What does this addition mean to for musicians and the music streaming sites that support them? Dubset’s service is reassuring in its promise to piece apart the artists included in the production of a track. Dubset helps Apple and Spotify to navigate who is going to get the royalties (DJs, labels, and publishers) when something is being listened to. But what does this mean on a larger scale? How could this change the music industry? Or would it at all?

SoundCloud and Spotify and Apple Music offered a variety of services across the three platforms, but there were always some characteristics that were specific to each. SoundCloud offered song remixes, Spotify offered easy personalization, and Apple Music offered the artist-created radio stations and playlists (Beats Radio is regularly recognized as the savior of the music streaming site). Now that SoundCloud’s strength has been effectively removed from the site, its decline will be all the more swift. 700 million people listen to mixed content last year. It’s a huge market of people that SoundCloud is about to lose to the Spotify and Apple Music giants.

The economic effects of this change isn’t all that concerning. Dubset, as a service, guarantees proper payment to the appropriate parties. But what remains of concern is how the market will react. Will Apple Music and Spotify rise up as the almighty holders of streaming music? How will the market react? Will the wealth be spread or left alone to exist in these places-to-find-music places? The market will hopefully respond with something new. The market will provide more options new and upcoming artists to post onto. The market could develop something new. More money will be spread, but music streaming options will be more limited. And with more market share means a larger hold of one company on all of its customers. So the musicians and the listeners can listen to and endorse more artists — and that has always been a good thing.

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What You Need to Know: Spotify and SoundCloud Might Elope

It’s with hushed voices and dashing glances that most discuss the tumultuous love affair that exists between streaming music sites and the modern music industry.

The argument is complicated, detailed, layered — all around heavy. On one end of the argument, artists and musicians are in arms against the streaming music sites. Taylor Swift and Thom Yorke live on that end, petitioning against the low, low royalties that most artists (especially the independent or young ones) manage to accept. It’s not unwarranted criticism. The up and coming artists of the present, past, and future have to find other places now to find money to continue their craft. CD sales are nearly nonexistent. The cool kids still buy vinyls, sure, but that’s still an unreliable market. Because of the market that music streaming sites like Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music have created, musicians must rely on merchandise and touring in order to make a living off the actual buying and selling of their records.

SoundCloud is (was), in many ways, no better than Spotify. It wasn’t until recently that they made strides in aggregating a credit card bearing, paying audience of users. Until very recently, when the in-between advertisements became too obvious and annoying to its users, did SoundCloud make strides in producing paying customers.

But I’d argue that SoundCloud was never the place for paying customers. I would argue that SoundCloud is, and I wishfully hope will remain, the random, difficult to navigate streaming music site filled to the brim with random 30-second tracks of something your skinny cousin made in his basement. SoundCloud was a haven for those just getting started, the easy to access music streaming site that required very little to put your podcast, songs, or mixes up on a website. Independent artists thrived in SoundCloud. Without SoundCloud finds, our world wouldn’t have Jai Wolf or Chainsmokers or Ryn Weaver (to name just a few). If SoundCloud is acquired, the hope of the one in a million chance dies evermore.

My opinions aren’t absolute. When and if Spotify acquires SoundCloud, very little will change for artists. The schema that they currently work within is already perilous, low-paying and competitive enough. I hope instead that the market fills the empty void left behind by SoundCloud with something similar (or better). Some functioning avenue for the quiet, closeted artists of the future who need the powers of the Internet to find, augment, and broadcast what talent they may or may not have. I am nervous for the impending acquisition because of the loss of faith it may incur. I fear for the little man, those less lucky than Jai or Ryn, who may never be found as a result of these changes.