(Credit: Heshan Perera/Unsplash)
Rumors of Facebook‘s upcoming Terms of Service update noting the right to delete users and pages that “create music listening experiences” from the platform have turned out to be untrue.
According to a conversation between DJcity and a Facebook representative, the following is noted:
“People are likely mistaking the updates we’re making to our Facebook Terms of Service. Our music guidelines have been in place since we launched music on our platforms in 2018. They were written to balance our commitment to supporting musical expression on our platforms with also ensuring we uphold our agreements with rights holders, which remains unchanged.”
As the global quarantine enters its sixth month, DJs are navigating the decisions made by broadcasting platforms as they learn how to adapt to live streaming. Ultimately, it appears that by the end of 2020, there will be more answers than questions regarding how DJs can sustainably showcase their talents and earn a living wage in an online environment.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch are becoming far more artist-friendly and much less DJ-equipped. Conversely, platforms like Mixcloud and YouTube are moving towards sustainability as online broadcast platforms.
Recently, Instagram-borne Verzuz announced partnerships with Apple Music and Diageo, Ciroc Vodka’s parent brand. Also, Twitch announced a two-day live stream partnership with Rolling Loud, a global, multi-city hip-hop festival, on September 12 and 13. Partnering with DJs requires negotiating rights fees and payment structures with BMI and ASCAP, while partnering with brands and festivals is an entirely different concept.
Facebook adds, “Shorter clips of music featuring a visual component are recommended [for use as Facebook live content]. As well, the greater the number of full-length recorded tracks in a video, the more likely it may be limited by the platform.”
Brands and events require platforms to aid in marketing products and ultimately turning profits from paid attendees. There is also a direct return on investment (ROI) for an outlet in working with a third-party. Hosting rights fees and platforms using an event’s popularity to increase their visibility amid numerous apps and sites battling for user bandwidth are vital drivers. Unless a DJ is a household name, the ROI likely isn’t there to make the opportunity worthwhile.
Other “traditional” streaming powers have emerged during the pandemic, too. Mixcloud was an early adapter in allowing DJs to stream mixes by negotiating with rights-holders and copyright organizations. Through their recent Mixcloud Live feature, rights-enabled DJ sets are possible with a Mixcloud Pro subscription.
Youtube averages two billion users per month and averages four times the daily traffic that Twitch does. Thus, Youtube has earned the revenue to be able to develop a content ID system that allows for rights-owners to stake their claim and share ad revenue on the uploaded/streamed mix.
Regardless of Facebook’s options, numerous streaming ideas and options deserve a closer look. First off, on the back of increased engagement from numerous users including the DJ community, Twitch stands to potentially increase its user base by 166% in the next year. For as much as live DJ sets are technically prohibited in their terms of service, there is the possibility, if mixing quickly (under 90 seconds) between tracks, to emerge unscathed due to the platform’s popularity and monetization opportunities, alone.
Instagram’s Badges program deserves consideration, too. Announced in June, the concept allows for Instagram Live viewers to send monetary tips to creators during live streams. Also, Instagram airs ads that play at the start of each user’s active engagement. The revenue from Instagram’s ads are paid at 55% to the creator and 45% to Instagram.
Soon after America’s national quarantine began, D-Nice played an Instagram Live DJ set for 150,000+ simultaneous viewers. About half a year later, Brandy and Monica‘s Verzuz battle was viewed by 700 percent more people. In the case of Brandy and Monica’s event, the combined net worth of the brands and sponsorships involved total $1.4 trillion. The support of live streaming from such major corporate players speaks to the power and potential it has.
Somewhere in between these massive successes, there exists a world of working DJs trying to figure out how to live stream sets for either fun or as a source of income. Thankfully, it appears that an industry is forming around live music streaming. Ideally, that industry’s success quickly trickles to the place where rights holders and platforms can discuss equitable ways to allow for DJs to spin music without fear of punishment.
Audio streaming platform Mixcloud has launched a “fan-to-creator” subscription service called Mixcloud Select. The service lets listeners subscribe to a creator’s channel to directly support them and the music played in their shows. It also enables creators to earn revenue for the first time on the platform.
With a subscription, listeners get an enhanced listening experience that includes offline listening, viewable tracklists, and no ads. Creators can set their own price, starting at $2.99 per month. They receive a share of profits from their subscriptions, while the artists, labels, and publishers get royalty revenue.
Nikhil Shah, co-founder of Mixcloud, said in the press release:
“There’s a lot of creative energy that goes into crafting a DJ mix, radio show or podcast in order to inspire listeners, and until now, these creators have been left out of the revenue mix. We’ve been working hard to design a model alongside the industry that recognizes the value these creators bring to the music ecosystem, and today we’re excited to share this with the world.”
For more information on Mixcloud Select, click here.
Music streaming service Mixcloud has signed a licensing agreement with Warner Music Group, its first deal with a major record company.
According to Mixcloud’s press release, the agreement will help enable a new offering in which fans can subscribe to creator channels “for a more interactive listening experience.” The deal will also “help audio creators on the platform monetise their content.”
Founded in 2008, Mixcloud offers around 12 million radio shows, DJ sets, and podcasts, which are produced by over 1 million creators. However, the platform uses a statutory radio license, which limits the content that creators can use. Some creators have experienced copyright takedowns in recent years, similar to that of SoundCloud and other platforms.
Nico Perez, co-founder and director of content at Mixcloud, said in the press release:
“Since the beginning, we have worked with rightsholders to both monetise long-form audio and champion the importance of curation in the streaming industry. As we embark on direct licensing relationships with the major labels, we are committed to doing what is best for artists, curators, music fans, and the industry.”
Ole Obermann, EVP of business development and chief digital officer at Warner Music Group, added:
“This deal is a good example of our willingness to experiment and lead in embracing differentiated new business models. As streaming opens up access to a vast universe of music, we are seeing a complimentary rise in fans’ engagement with curated experiences, such as playlists, on-demand radio shows, and DJ sets.”
Billboard reports that Mixcloud is in discussions with Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and independent rights organization Merlin about striking similar license deals to that of Warner.
Mixcloud hasn’t revealed details of the new subscription plan, but Perez told Financial Times:
“We don’t want to do the $9.99 a month. That’s done. That market is served. What we’re building is going to be very customised.”
Financial Times added:
“While the labels have been hesitant to budge on a $10 a month price, Warner Music does not view Mixcloud as a direct threat to Spotify, which made the label more open to experiment, according to one person close to the deal.”
Updated on Oct. 10, 2017.
SoundCloud has been an unreliable service for hosting DJ mixes ever since record labels started cracking down on the company last year. Thankfully, those who are tired of takedowns can now import their existing mixes directly into Mixcloud with a new tool.
The company’s SoundCloud importer was previously only available to Mixcloud content partners, but the company has now made it available to the public as a beta. The tool is only available for long-form content such as mixes, radio shows and podcasts, as Mixcloud doesn’t allow single track or album uploads.
Mixcloud also differs from SoundCloud in that it’s a licensed Internet radio service and has agreements with various collecting societies. This means that while Mixcloud doesn’t allow downloading and rewinding within a mix, their service is completely legal, and DJs don’t have to worry about takedowns.
The company also offers premium accounts with more features, and DJcity readers can get three months of free service with the promo code: DJCITYFREETRIAL (monthly plan only).
Related: Four Hours of Audio Is Uploaded to Mixcloud Every Minute
For a long time, SoundCloud was the number one choice for many DJs looking to host their mixes online. However, the company has stepped up copyright enforcement over the last year, and many DJs have had their mixes taken down, and even their accounts removed.
As DJs continue looking for alternatives, DJWORX has compared SoundCloud with its leading alternatives, including MixCloud, Mixcrate, YouTube, PodOmatic, and others. Their extensive breakdown looks at various aspects of each service, including audio quality, interface and cost. Check out their article here.
Related: Four Hours of Audio Is Uploaded to Mixcloud Every Minute
Nearly four hours of content gets uploaded to Mixcloud every minute, the company says. The statistic was revealed today in a blog post celebrating its fifth anniversary.
Mixcloud also revealed that over six million shows have been uploaded by 650,000 DJs, radio presenters and curators since its launch. A record 200,000 were uploaded in the last month alone, with each averaging 45 minutes.
Up until recently, SoundCloud was the preferred platform for DJs to upload mixes to. However, the company’s tightening of copyright enforcement in recent months has resulted in many DJs moving to similar services such as Mixcloud, iTunes Podcasts and PodOmatic.
In August, Mixcloud introduced Pro accounts that provide content creators with advanced analytics, scheduled uploads, profile customization, and more. DJcity readers can get three months of free service with the promo code: DJCITYFREETRIAL (monthly plan only).
Be sure to follow DJcity on Mixcloud for weekly mixes every Tuesday and Friday.
Related: Mixcloud Introduces Subscriptions & Repost Feature
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