Business News Deals Digital

Dubset deal brings unofficial mixes to Apple Music

By | Published on Wednesday 16 March 2016

Apple Music

Apple Music is getting all mixed up via a new deal with distribution firm Dubset, which has developed a technology to identify what tracks are included in DJ mixes and has arrangements in place with labels and publishers to license said works.

It means Dubset can then provide such mixes to streaming services, with the owners of featured songs and recordings getting a cut of the royalties, along with the mixer. The aim of the new service is to enable streaming platforms to legitimately carry unofficial mixes, which have always been popular but, due to licensing issues, have generally been limited to platforms which just ignore licensing obligations, or which operate under blanket licences from collecting societies, like Mixcloud.

Labels could try to put such mixes out legitimately, of course, by getting licences from each and every rights owner, though most mixes posted online don’t come from a legit source of this kind. And when it comes to the unofficial mixes on unlicensed platforms, labels can either issue a takedown notice, which may or may not have an effect, or can just ignore the mix and/or hope it will have some sort of promo value.

Announcing his new mix-monitoring technology and licensing service, and the deal to provide licensed mixes to Apple Music, Dubset boss Stephen White told reporters: “This is a very important day for the music industry. Until now the major music services could not offer DJ mixes and unofficial remix content on their services”.

He went on: “Although DJs were able to sample tracks during live performances, they were not allowed to legally distribute the recordings. Most of this content has lived in the shadows of unlicensed pirate distribution channels with neither the original artist, composer, nor the DJ getting compensated for their creative work. We are THRILLED to make this amazing new content available on Apple Music, as it will only enhance the listener experience on one of the largest music distribution platforms in the world”.

Perhaps most interesting about Dubset’s set-up is that the mixer also earns royalties in addition to the artists, songwriters, labels and publishers whose tracks and songs feature, which makes sense, though online curators have to date struggled to grab a cut of the digital music dollar. Quite how Dubset-delivered mixes are licensed, whether participating rights owners get a veto on a mix-by-mix basis, on what terms Apple pays, and how royalties are then split between all the stakeholders, are all things it would be interesting to know. We’ll make sure to ask.

Mix makers interested in getting their mixes into Apple Music via Dubset can find out how it all works at