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Apple’s Game-Changing Partnership with Dubset: How it Works and The Unintended Consequences

News, Technology | Mar 17, 2016   

Apple’s Game-Changing Partnership with Dubset: How it Works and The Unintended Consequences

When we first heard the news that Apple will now, for the first time in history, offer DJs and Remixers a platform to stream their content without worrying about copyright issues we were really excited. There’s nothing out there like this and it’s going to inevitably change the DJ’ing landscape for good – but will it be for the better?

Before making any snap judgments, we need to analyze HOW exactly this process will work. From the content creator to the rights holder, we will closely analyze the intricacies this game-changing streaming platform holds. Hopefully we can make the process more understandable to those not so familiar with copyright and the laws of music streaming online.

First, let’s create a scenario. DJ John Doe wants to submit his latest mash-up mix to Apple’s new service. His mix will probably have at least 30 songs, which means there could be 30 different labels and upwards of 10 publishers for each track. For ONE DJ MIX, this equals 300 to 600 rights holders. What technology makes this all possible?

MixBank (Dubset’s proprietary technology) will match the recordings used in the DJ mix to a databank of 3-second audio clips from Gracenote. Mixbank will “narrow down” 100 possible matches for each 3 second clip. The actual difficult step (if this isn’t arduous enough) is performed by MixScan, which identifies the recording in its stop and start point in each mix. This piece of technology will then locate the corresponding rights holders in a dataset through partnerships and direct feeds.

But we’re not finished yet…

Once the rights holders are identified, Mixbank will then check current restrictions on any tracks, artists, or albums. Rights holders can and will prevent an artist from being associated with other artists AND can control where (territory-wise) this content will be available in. So content fully available in the states, might not be available in the UK, Canada, Asia…etc.

After the file (DJ mix) is reviewed and checked for any content restrictions, the Content Creator (the DJ) will receive a pass or they will receive an directions to revise their mix before submitting a second time.

The number of hoops being jumped through for one DJ mix brings up our first question; how can Dubset handle the workload? This could be a monumental task to get just one mix approved let alone thousands of submissions being processed everyday.

The Unintended Consequences

Mixes and mashups are a really big part of the DJ culture and industry. They can and mostly do represent creative reimaginings of DJs and Remixers. Treating them through the process outlined above could restrict the DJ’s creativity poured into these mixes. They are subject to the controls of labels – which is a double-edged sword. You’re safe from copyright issues – but you’re limited due to the rights holders’ restrictions.

We’re not sure how this will play out. On one hand we’re really excited that DJs, big or small can monetize on their mixes and mashups, but on the other hand will the creative process be too much affected? This is our speculation…what’s yours?



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