Shazam is used by Apple Music to resolve the streaming problem Industry’s Problem with DJ Mixes

Apple Music today announced that it has created a system to identify and properly compensate each creator of a mix. Using technology from the audio-recognition app Shazam, which Apple acquired in 2018 for $400 million, Apple Music is working with major and independent labels to devise a fair way to divide streaming royalties among DJs, labels, and artists who appear in the mixes. The goal is to ensure DJ mixes have long-term financial value and that artists get paid for the work they do. It is clear that Apple saw the value in this integration of Shazam technology as it was one of its first.

It has been difficult to stream DJ mixes online in the past, as live streaming sites like YouTube and Twitch may flag copyright infringement. When a song is used by a DJ in a live performance, artists are entitled to royalty payments. However, dance music can complicate this situation as small portions of songs from different tracks can be combined into something that’s not easily identifiable.

Apple Music hosts thousands upon thousands of mix sets, which includes those from Tomorrowland’s 2020-2021 digital festivals. However, Apple Music is only now announcing that the technology it uses to make this possible, despite Billboard mentioning it back in June. This announcement will see Studio K7!’s DJ Kicks mix archive begin rolling out to the service. It gives users access to mixes that aren’t available on the internet in more than 15 years.

Apple Music offers continuous mixes, and there is a fair price for artists who are featured in those mixes. “It’s a positive step towards fair treatment for everyone,” said DJ Charlotte de Witte in an Apple statement. “I am beyond thrilled to be able to offer online mixes once again.”

Image Credits: Apple Music

The ability to stream DJ mix can be a game changer for dance music lovers. It will allow Apple Music to compete with Spotify. Spotify leads the industry by having more paid subscribers than Apple Music. Despite Apple Music introducing lossless, spatial, and classical audio acquisitions, it has yet to surpass Spotify. However, DJ mixes are a unique feature that adds another dimension to the music experience.

Apple Music’s exploration of the DJ royalty issues doesn’t address wider crises that are at work among DJs and live musicians who have survived a pandemic.

Though platforms like Mixcloud allow DJs to stream sets and monetize using pre-licensed music, Apple Music’s DJ mixes will not include user-generated content. MIDiA Research, in partnership with Audible Magic, found that user-generated content (UGC) — online content that uses music, whether it’s a lipsync TikTok or a Soundcloud DJ mix — could be a music industry goldmine worth over $6 billion in the next two years. Apple has not yet invested in UGC as users cannot upload personal mixes for streaming on the site like Soundcloud. According to a Billboard report from June, Apple Music will only host mixes after the streamer has identified 70% of the combined tracks.

Apple Music did not respond to queries about the exact distribution of royalties, however this is a first step towards reimagining musicians’ lives in digital spaces.

These innovations can help artists get compensated but streaming royalties are only a small portion of the way musicians make their money. Apple only pays one cent per stream to musicians, while Spotify and other competitors pay fractions of cents. Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW), launched a campaign called Justice at Spotify in March. It demands a one cent per stream payout, similar to Apple’s. Live events are still a major source of income for musicians, even with the paltry stream payouts offered by platforms. Of course, touring has been difficult due to this pandemic. To add insult to injury, the Association for Electronic Music estimated in 2016 that dance music producers missed out on $120 million in royalties from their work being used without attribution in live performances.

PubliƩ Fri, 10 Sep 2021 at 04:46:04 +0000

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