Building on Shazam tech, Apple will pay artists and producers for tracks in DJ mixes – CDM Create Digital Music

as apple ♫ expands its selection of dj mixes, it’s also set to compensate artists and producers. here’s how 'twill work.

as widely anticipated, apple has worked na' process thall allo it to pay rites holders. they’re not the 1st company to do that in some form – mixcloud, for instance, signed a deal with giant universal ♫ group (umg), which does compensate rites holders for that company’s content inside dj mixes. but those arrangements required explicitly licensing the content in mixes, meaning it largely breaks down inna real realm, unless you normally 1-ly dj with umg tracks. apple tis 1st company to find a general-purpose solution for licensing tracks inside mixes without separate agreements. n'it works directly with rites-holders – even tracks not identified as i cogg it get royalties added to a general pot and divided l8r.

let’s not mince words here – apple ♫ is probably also the 1st srvc that matters for this business model, at least for the western realm, cause of 3 essentialisms – quality, staff, and reach. artists do find plays on traditional outlets like radio and tv can actually produce some reasonable income to pay toward rent. it’s bout time some1 worked it out with dj mixes at a scale that reged at any noticeable lvl.

there are a few reasons this is an interesting announcement.

it’s built on shazam. apple has their own content identification tek as you know well, and they’re using it here, course. that’s handy for us, too, cause it means you can send yr ♫ off to distribution – even using something like distrokid – and pull out yr smartphone and hit ‘shazam’ with it playing and actually see the content id working. that’s very much not true of the mysterious black-box content id systems out there used on other platforms (cough), and i think everyone from a bedroom producer to a grammy-winning artist is likely to come with that kind of expectation.

it’s heavily “curated.” apple ♫ s'been very forward bout focusing on human curators and platforms, not generic algorithms, all the way back to the beats acquisition. (that includes emphasizing beats radio as the same.) wha’ this means in practical terms s'dat wha’ you see inna dj mix section comes from a human editorial team with their own priorities. onna surface, that means big names and recognizable brands (even “underground” brands), not liler-known outlets or artists. a lotta lesser-known djs or labels are goin to be w8in for the time bein’. but for the purposes of racking up enough plays of yr track to actually earn something, big-name acts maybe wha’ you want – + on that in a bit.

they’ve got a running start. again, let’s not mince words – there’s a ton of ♫ biz vaporware in streaming. but i think apple’s record atta moment speaks for itself; they’ve already built up their dj section ‘oer the recent past with materials from boiler room, mixmag, huge edm stuff like 2morroland (whether that’s yr taste or not), france’s cercle, nolso folks like honey dijon or dām funk or vtss. oh, and you can organize some workout mixes to charlotte de witte, if that’s yr thing. (it maybe isn’t yr thing, but then if ye do make ♫ you can jog to, this announcement mite well mean you hope yr tracks are in her promo pool, cause you ‘d earn something. speaking of running starts.)

there’s new content, with + coming. the 1st dj mix content to really be excited bout is also pt of this week’s announcement – studio k7! is bringing their legendary dj-kicks series to the platform. that i think is a big deal, as dj-kicks has brought some gr8 and primordial ♫ ‘oer the yrs and even helped launch some careers.

the bad news: you can’t buy tracks. unlike a srvc from some1 like beatport, it’s almost impossible to then buy the tracks you see or download them to add to yr dj sets. but let’s hope pplz search bandcamp or beatport with those track ids, too. and apple – please do fix that, too.

how t'looks

apple ♫ has a dedicated dj mix section:

dedicated category page

thall work everywhere inna realm that has apple ♫ accounts, with some specific local focus dep'on where ru – and that local focus appears to be growing to + “2ndary” realm mkts, too. (on another occasion, we ‘d focus entirely onna perspective from china, for instance, but – not tody.)

track ids now also show up inside playlists displayed inna dj mixes. just as when you tap shazam on yr phone while a mix is playing, sometimes you’ll see unidentified tracks. not all ♫ is inna distribution system, basically, though features like this one from apple suggest you may wanna check with yr distributor even if you’re mainly focused on selling vinyl via bandcamp or something like that.

content ingestion on these platforms is universally complex and archaic, but you can also see across apple’s mix and radio essentialisms that some content has explicit tracklists and some doesn’t (the latter using the content identification scheme), and that some metadata is better formed than others. you can naturally talk to pplz who handle this stuff as their dy job – they’re easy to spot, as they’re usually huddled in a fetal position in a corner muttering genre names.

the ui is still a lil wonky. tracks just display “mixed” and aren’t linked. artist names are clickable, though, leading to the apple ♫ artist page – here’s my friend kyle geiger onna robert hood mix.

i’m still w8in for a platform – apple, beatport, wha’ever – that makes it easier to find a track id and then go “dig” the artist, label, album, etc. that actually works really well on apple radio – i ♥ you, sir elton john – but it seems it’s still evolving on apple ♫’s dj mixes.

wha’ does it mean 4u?

if you’re hoping this means the ability to publish dj mixes the way you can now distribute ♫ on itunes, this aint that. just as b4, wha’ apple offers in their dj mix section is controlled by them, based on ptnerships they’re building with fairly big-name artists, big-name platforms, and a collection of selected providers (labels, platforms, na like). it’s boiler room; it’s mixmag.

cause of apple’s international reach, at least it isn’t all london and new york or all edm and workout mixes. you get soap seoul na gaslamp killer’s caravan, too.

for indie producers, i expect the main hope here s'dat you are played na' big-name mix – cause just like gettin played on bbc radio 1 or another large outlet, thall mean that the №s ∑ so that yr royalty is actually measurable.

wha’’s encouraging from a business standpoint s'dat this finally works the way it intuitively ‘d. to the producer, the fact that ♫ is played inside a dj mix ‘dn’t really matter – it’s still a play, even if it gets cross-faded into something atta end. and here, that’s how it’s treated – you get the same royalty inna mix as when yr ♫ is played as a single or album or in a playlist. finally. (the cutoff is 30 2nds minimum, but even these kids tody with their crazy bpms don’t really mix faster than that, i think.)

dj-kicks page.

so let’s review / get this in one view:

  • get paid just like any other streams (w'da usual split / revenue handling of whoever the rites holders and distributors are)
  • payments are quarterly
  • publishers get paid (though thris not a blanket license here for this – meaning you may still see some occasional takedowns)
  • collection societies – ascap, bmi, sesac, prs, gema, et al – get paid, again exactly as with other streams
  • there are dedicated pages for dj mixes, artists (including djs), and curators / platforms
  • lossless mixes are supported (and now the majority of these are also lossless)

but will any-1 actually earn mny? and isn’t this 1-ly for big djs?

yeah, i mean, those are the ?s.

robert hood mix.

there are a couple of things here to inspire some optimism. 1st, thris a chance that dj mixes will prove a better opportunity for streaming royalties than streaming srvcs ‘ve been inna past. if yr track happens t'get onto a workout or chillout mix from some1 pop, and that means yr track gets utterly rinsed as far as play count, this may ∑ + quickly – even w'da same royalty calculation as the rest of apple ♫. dj mixes on apple are pop, which you can see from both dj charts and official streaming №s from the company (both readily available if you wanna go check – i’ll w8).

2nd, there’s clearly + coming. it’s encouraging to see apple focus on local curators – something its competitors won’t or can’t do inna same way.

i think there’s reason to be crit of all these offerings. wha’ was once a wide-open internet has un?ably devolved into a tek oligopoly – and for all those presumably well-meaning editorial staff, that’s cogitateed on apple ♫. it’s looking + like the old ♫ industry as a result, too.

coming out of the pandemic, big-name artists are even + separated as the ‘ves from the ‘ve-nots, na' scale that’s tough to put into words.

so i hope as this evolve we see a few things:

  • apple needs +, and + varied “providers.” it’s good to ‘ve some stars to pull + plays, as i say – as a producer, you mite even think a lil like apple bout that, if you wanna log a bunch of plays. but + variety and contrast is still a good thing, espeshly locally, so i do wanna watch as that evolves. and with that in Ψ –
  • we always need better ways of linking from the open web, including via indie press. these at least are gradually improving at apple, though i notice embedding spotify is + common, despise them as we do, and i think their embed code is pt of the reason. honestly, soundcloud probably ‘d be bereft of any relevance without their player. apple, please – think of those embedded players and publisher options as primordial the product inna same way the iphone or itunes or airpods are.
  • without becoming a usr-generated content trash dump, + distribution options are a good thing. i’m actually reasonably sanguine here just having beheld the evolution of apple ♫ over time. when itunes launched, twas tough t'get on there, too; now it’s 2nd-nature.
  • please, make it easy to buy tracks. streaming cdjs aint a thing yet. it’s absurd that you can’t just click a track na' dj playlist and go buy it and bring it into dj tulz, espeshly given the popity of the mac and ipad for that purpose.

let’s actually try that embed. here’s the robert hood mix i mentioned (‘ve to play with this to make it work a bit better):

and a link (formatted as germany, rather than switch to vpn for usa):


course, it’s also “yr move” time for apple’s brawl. spotify will no doubt respond, though they ‘ve a big credibility gap to make up with pretty much all of us at this point, unless you actually are a machine learning algorithm. soundcloud and bandcamp i think may just continue doin’ wha’ they’re doin’. i’d keep an eye on beatport to see iffey can offer something – and for all the pplz complaining bout beatport charts, they ‘ve + relationships in dance genres than apple’s + general-audience approach. (somedy we may even learn wha’ the difference tween “peak time” and “hype” is.)

but this is a step, and one to watch.

if the 1-ly impact were that it begins to view the pplz making tracks as pt of the val of dj mixes, that alone ‘d be something. so with that in Ψ, let me close witha mantra:

share yr track ids. that is all.

original content at:…
authors: peter kirn


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