Thanks to New Music Streaming Services, You Can Finally Be A DJ
Ownership of music is so passé. CDs seem doomed to litter the same landfills occupied by Betamax and Max Headroom busts. Hard drive failure is inevitable, whereas cloud streaming is potentially interminable (assuming companies and licensees don’t close their doors). As such, streaming has become the main vehicle for music consumption: it’s convenient, it’s cheap, and it fits into our smartphones.
But the rise of streaming services like Spotify and TIDAL has introduced its own set of problems unique to the internet age. Take, for instance, the overwhelming prevalence of remixes. Websites like SoundCloud and Hype Machine made their moolah off of hosting all sorts of covers and DJ megamixes until copyright holders swooped in and took down a lot of their content. How do streaming sites, whose accounting is largely done algorithmically, effectively “split the bill” between the remixer and the original artist?
After years of DMCA Takedowns and a lack of remixes, it looks like streaming services are finally figuring out how to accommodate DJs and mashup artists. Apple Music was first to the party, introducing software in March that can discern individual song components within a set or remix. Spotify followed suit in May. And now, SoundCloud, who unveiled their own subscription service, SoundCloud Go, last month, is allowing all users to master their music on site through LANDR.
So, potentially, you could compose that Drake/The Simpsons mashup you’ve always known would go viral, master it through Soundcloud, and then have it up and streaming later that week. The moves open the industry up to an entire league of beatmakers and remixers whose presence had previously been limited to major releases. Now, big name DJs like Clams Casino, Nosaj Thing, and Branchez can introduce their catalogue of kick-ass remixes and mixtapes to the world.
The news also bodes well for the world of rap mixtapes. Traditionally, mixtapes’ nicked beats and uncleared samples made them strictly a streaming no-no. But, if Spotify and Apple’s software solutions work with the precision that they claim, then samplers and samplees would both be compensated. So, desktop DJs, now is the time to dig through your cable drawer, get finnicky with Ableton Live, and get yourself a slice of that streaming music pie, because it’s a party online.
GIFs courtesy of Giphy. Original imagery by Kathryn Chadason.
Stay tuned to Milk for more club-ready jams.