It’s been a time-honored tradition for producers of all sizes to, at one point or the other, start ripping acapella and make bootlegs as practice. Almost all of these bootlegs usually wind up either on YouTube or SoundCloud – before they’re swiftly removed or issued a copyright strike.
Spotify and Apple Music, on the other hand, have only supported tracks with proper distribution channels in the past. While that’s good and fine for labels and established artists or those who can afford to pay for self-distribution, bedroom producers have traditionally been unable to tap into said resources to get themselves up on the platform. And with rumors of the proposed Spotify/SoundCloud buyout swirling, things don’t look too good for bedroom/SoundCloud producers.
That said, thanks to a partnership with music rights management service Dubset, the first ever unofficial single-track remixes just popped up on both Spotify and Apple Music. While the remixer DJ Jazzy Jeff is a far cry from your average SoundCloud producer, it does in fact signal a change in the streaming platforms’ attitudes towards unofficial remixes.
Mixes, which are another major source of SoundCloud strikes, are still not available on those streaming platforms just yet, but Dubset is confident that they will be able to distribute them and issue proper royalty payouts. The way that Dubset works is simple: they scan through an entire mix and match every part of the track to its own database based off of Gracenote’s database to ensure that the artist who is being remixed will receive the proper royalty payouts from the remixer.
Dubset CEO Stephen White sees a huge market for this, despite the majors’ traditional reluctance to work within this space, due to the 700 million people who listen to bootlegged content a month.
“Content owners have been very supportive. The publishing and label deals we have under license provides a large catalog to work with…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!”
Another interesting thing to note is how the new availability of unofficial material on Spotify and SoundCloud could now potentially jeopardize Spotify’s proposed acquisition, but that’s all still to be seen.