I’ve always wondered why the world of unofficial remixes (tracks with uncleared samples) can’t be monetized. Why not apportion royalties to the original artist, much like publishing royalties for covers? Well, it seems like we’re finally getting there. Spotify and Apple Music have recently started streaming unofficial remixes, since October 2016. Paid streaming services traditionally do not allow remixes, the content is modified and labels are unable to claim royalties. So what’s changed?
Enter Dubset Media, a music rights management firm. They describe themselves as a “technology solutions company for the music industry,” they “unravel the complexities associated with licensing and distribution of derivative content and change how it is monetised.” How does it work? Dubset essentially operates like a clearing house for remixed material using scanning software to identify samples or songs that were incorporated in the remix, thus determining who receives a portion of the revenue. They are able to identify master recordings with their MixScan audio fingerprinting technology, the resulting information is used to construct a copyright structure which allocates distribution to the relevant rights holders. Dubset has partnered with Spotify and Apple Music, allowing for streaming and monetising of content that has previously only been seen on Soundcloud and Youtube. Not all remixes will be eligible right away, an agreement between Dubset and the relevant record label needs to be in place before a remix becomes eligible for release. "Content owners have been very supportive. The publishing and label deals we have under license provides a large catalog to work with" said Stephen White, CEO of Dubset. "[This] allows some of the content that until now has only been on YouTube and SoundCloud to come to these great paid services where content owners will get paid."
For now Dubset is limited to single track remixes, but the company is currently working to bring multi-song remixes and DJ sets to streaming providers.