Blockchain Technology Meets Electronic Music Streaming

DJ and producer Gareth Emery is set to take on a unique modern-day challenge as he enters not only in the music streaming business but also in the cryptocurrency blockchain sector through a single new venture called Choon.

A venture cofounded along with partners John Watkinson, Bjorn Niclas, and Matt Hall, Choon is set to be launched next year. While it is considered a music startup, it also has a clear component in financial technology since it aims to try solving many of the issues many artists have right now with streaming services utilizing cryptocurrency-based solutions.

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As Vinyl Sales Rise, Digital Music Sales Continue to Drop

Surprised? We’re not.

This week Billboard reported the information and sales tracking numbers provided by Nielsen Music, who released its Q3 report and revealed that 2017 vinyl sales have already done better than 2016’s numbers, with a quarter to spare.

Nielson analyzed data from album sales in the United States and proclaimed that while physical and digital album sales have dropped, vinyl has not. Unsurprisingly CD sales have continued to fall, dropping 19.9 percent this year, while vinyl sales increased by 3.1 per cent, nearing 10 million unites sold.

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SoundCloud Allegedly Doesn’t Have Enough Money To Survive Past 80 Days

Reports have begun surfacing that SoundCloud may truly be on its last leg.

Truth be told, things haven’t looked well for the streaming company for the entirety of 2017. Despite still being hugely popular and ahead of its competitors as far as some of its offerings go, the company has had financial problems for years now and they have only been getting worse. This resulted in 40 percent of its staff getting laid off last week and statements from its founders that it may not have enough money to see it through the year.

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Is SoundCloud Making Moves to Delete and Block All Uncleared DJ Mixes?

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Is SoundCloud slowly deleting all uncleared DJ mixes? It appears that may be the case.

According to Digital Music News, SoundCloud has made plans to delete all DJ mixes that haven’t been fully cleared yet, a move that is bound to affect a large portion of the files uploaded to the platform by its 185 million active users.

Users have now begun to notice massive amounts of DJ mixes disappearing from their playlists. Several high-profile users such as Morgan Page and L’Affaire Musicale have already had their entire accounts or uploads deleted, with SoundCloud making it clear that DJ mix or live sets contains popular tracks that belong to another artist will be deleted. If a music file is deleted, the user sees all the statistics racked up through that upload also disappear.

UPDATE: SoundCloud issued a statement today replying and denying that any measures have been taken to delete DJ sets off the platform. The statement reads:

“The story has no truth to it. At SoundCloud, we’re on a mission to create a place where all creativity can live. SoundCloud’s creator community, including DJs, is incredibly important to us.”


Source: Pulse

Soundcloud: ‘Time For Everyone To Pay Up’

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The days of SoundCloud as a free music sharing and listening service are coming to an end, and have been for quite some time. The service, which boasts millions of users (both fans and musicians) and a nearly unlimited stream of music, has been plagued by several issues recently. Firstly, new licensing deals with major labels require enormous monetization, but the company has quickly been bleeding cash. Allison Moore, an “experienced digital executive,” has been brought on board as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) in the weeks leading up to a much-dreaded paid launch. Fresh off a General Manager position for NBC-Universal’s TV Everywhere streaming service, Moore has also held upper-management positions at HBO and Cablevision. In a recent statement, Alex Ljung, CEO and co-founder of SoundCloud, announced that:

“Alison is an innovative and strategic leader with a proven track record of building consumer business strategies that drive new revenue growth across multiple platforms. Most importantly, she has an understanding of both the complexities of SoundCloud’s business, and the content and entertainment industries, having spent the majority of her career building businesses, products and experiences that deepen consumer engagement with extraordinary content. We’re thrilled to have Alison heading up what will become a monetization engine of global scale.”
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Apple: Bye Bye iTunes Radio, Hello Subscriptions

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As of this weekend, Apple‘s iTunes Radio, once an entirely free, ad-supported streaming platform, has ceased to exist in its original incarnation. Earlier this month, Apple announced that the channels would be integrated into Apple Music, the company’s subscription-based streaming platform. Sadly, that day has come and gone, and the stations are officially no more. Anyone logging into the iOS Music app or iTunes on their computer will encounter a message prompting them to purchase an Apple Music subscription. However, Apple continues to offer the Beats 1 station for free, seemingly an attempt to further the “Beats” brand  that the former acquired in 2014. Upon the 2015 launch of Apple Music, iTunes radio (launched in 2013) was deactivated in regions where the latter service was available, with the exception (until this past weekend) of the US and Australia. While this is surely a major bummer for cash-strapped listeners, the silver lining is that Apple Music will include a number of features belonging to iTunes Radio, such as generating playlists based on a single artist/song and music discovery. From a business perspective, this move makes financial sense for the company at the expense of the consumer, just one of many controversial moves that Apple has made since 2011, when co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs suffered an untimely death brought on by pancreatic cancer.

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The Get Down: Netflix Disco, Hip-Hop Documentary

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Given the largely divergent trajectories the two genres have taken, it’s easy to forget just how closely related hip-hop and disco (and house, by extension of disco) are, nothing short of sister genres in the jungle that was The Bronx (NY) in the late seventies. We must keep in mind that hip-hop was not always about gold chains and popping bottles, and that it actually arose out of very real struggle, providing empowerment to a neglected generation of urban youth, offering a haven for teens and young adults to come together and embrace a positive message in the face of inner-city violence and oppression.


Baz Luhrman gives us an in-depth look into the co-evolution of these two cultures in his upcoming Netflix original, The Get Down, a docu-series chronicling a collective of Bronx musicians, dancers, and graffiti artists through the second half of the seventies. The series documents the development of hip-hop, disco, and punk rock (which, although musically different, arose from similar conditions and shared many cultural aspects). The extended trailer offers a peek into the shows eclectic but talented cast, including legends such as Jimmy Smits, Justice Smith, Herizen Guardiola, Shameik Moore, Mamoudou (better known as Grandmaster Flash). The Get Down will be available for streaming later this year; the release date has not been announced, you can peek the trailer below.

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Kygo: A Billion Spotify Streams In Record Time

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Norwegian producer Kygo, and pioneer of the so-called “tropical house” movement, has hit a new milestone, becoming the fastest artist to hit a billion plays on Spotify. On December 1, the music streaming company announced Kygo as their “Breakout Artist of 2015.” He reached this number a mere 12 months after releasing Firestone, his debut single that was exclusive to Spotify for the first day. For reference, pop artists like Sam Smith and Ariana Grande generally don’t hit a billion plays until at least two years. Currently ranked 20th  in overall streams, Kygo has approximately 14 million listeners per month, and 8 million (appx. 60% – way higher than most similar artists) of these are categorized as ‘fans,’ meaning that they save his music or play his music multiple times. Read more

Dubset Aims To Monetize DJ Mixes And Distribute Royalties

dubset royaltiesRoyalties from digital streaming have recently been the source of much tension within the industry. Although the dust has finally settled down between the labels and streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify, there is an big issue on the table that hasn’t been addressed: monetization and royalties from DJ mixes. With the support of Rhapsody and a number of other investors, New York startup Dubset Media Holdings is trying to tackle the problem.

Legally speaking, DJ mixes fall into a very grey area. On the one hand, they are mostly composed of audio content produced a number of other artists. On the other hand, the DJ who makes the mix has creatively blended the content into a new cohesive piece.

Clearly, artists should receive royalties when their music is used in a DJ set. Seems fair. But to determine how much is a bit more complicated than that. There are a number of considerations that might affect what constitutes a “fair share,” such as how much time from the song is sampled, whether it is playing in its original state or altered, and whether it is playing alone or together in the mix.

This seems like a logistical nightmare, but fear not. For several years, Dubset has been developing and testing their revolutionary MixSCAN technology, which scans mixes in real-time to provide answers to all of the questions above within seconds, easily determining where to send the royalties. The primary goal of this endeavor is to provide a legitimate platform through which DJ mixes can be monetized for everyone involved in their creation. Ultimately, this will result in more royalties for everyone.

The MixScan technology comes at the perfect time, as piracy in the context of DJ mixes is just coming into the limelight. With sites like Souncloud and Mixcloud facing an uncertain future, there is an urgent industry-wide need to legitimize mix streaming and downloads before it’s too late.  As Dubset CEO Bob Barbiere says, “This program begins and ends with DJs. Rather than trying to ban their medium, we have a way to make it legal.”

According to this model, royalties will be paid for each mix streamed, with payments going to the DJ who compiles the mix as well as the artists who make the music used. This gives them incentives to upload their mixes through legitimate channels. There are approximately 120 billion instances of track sampling annually; if monetized, this untapped revenue stream could generate around a billion dollars a year. As CEO Barbiere puts it, “We’re not trying to be the police, but the folks who do police the industry will use our technology to continue their mission.”

Click here to read more at Billboard

Click here to visit the Dubset Media Holdings website