If it feels like you’ve been waiting forever for Apple Music to add DJ mixes to the platform, you’re wrong. It hasn’t been forever – it just felt like it.
It’s been two years since Apple announced that their streaming platform had struck a deal with Dubset to add DJ mixes and “unofficial remixes” for all Apple Music subscribers to enjoy.
It was only this month, however, that Dubset announced they were finally bringing “hundreds” of DJ mixes to Apple’s streaming platform along with three “exclusive” DJ sets. Get your cake ready and your super-soaker primed:
Can you believe it? They just do that – they just go ahead and freely throw together a mix without worrying about money. Just like it’s been, uh, forever.
In reality, we’ve been reading reports for three or four years about how electronic music DJ mixes were coming to streaming platforms and it was going to be game over for SoundCloud, Mixcloud and other DJ-centric streaming platforms. Meanwhile, the actual additions have been stuttering, incomplete and more people have found some degree of satisfaction in curated playlists rather than DJ mixes themselves. While more producers and labels are promoting their work on Spotify because they get paid – pennies and fractions of a penny that are still more than a big $0 – easy-to-add DJ mixes are still out of reach.
It will eventually happen, though. It’s even possible to imagine a world in which any old DJ can seamlessly record a set and upload it to Apple Music or Spotify within minutes – just like how SoundCloud and Mixcloud work now! We feel confident making this prediction because there’s at least some money to be had, and technology companies will not rest so long as they can squeeze another few bucks out of recorded music.
But the appearance of Aoki (with Sigala and DJ Suss One, DJs of the three exclusive sets) is a signal that underground artists and DJs should probably take a breather. Fame may follow the first underground DJs to invade the platform but money probably won’t. Dubset is a partner here because of their “MixScan” technology that establishes what parts of what song a DJ (or random remixer) used and can apportion fees and royalties appropriately. With the reputed Spotify royalty fee of $0.001 per track per play, few artists other than the Top 40 EDM producers would stand to see anything close to a noticeable return.
It also seems sensible that rather than bringing in that fabled “whole new audience,” DJ mixes on Spotify and Apple Music will mostly cannibalize the existing audience – the people who now listen on SoundCloud, Mixcloud or some other radio station or app.
So rejoice if you’re a fan with an unquenchable appetite for cheese. For everyone else, it’s probably not wise to cancel that SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscription just yet.