It’s the start of the Ibiza summer season, which means as well as the throbbing mass of hedonists, the International Music Summit has its annual excuse to hit the White Isle and party. Among the usual panel discussions and high level meetings was a short bit of news with potentially industry shaking repercussions: Spotify have struck a deal to be able to host licensed DJ mixes. Not only that, but according to the official word, there’s scope to allow both the DJ and artists make some money from the uploads. Of course, with costs per stream being what they are, this is probably a depressing thought for pretty much anyone in the profit chain.
Stephen White of Dubset said: “This is a major milestone for DJs and music fans all over the world. Our technology platform makes it possible for us to identify and pay rights holders in DJ mixes, making this enormously popular music genre available on the world’s most popular streaming service for the very first time.”
We already use Spotify in our house as a communal source of music. When one or both of my wife and I are sat working in our shared studio, We have some sort of playlist going. In fact, I couldn’t handle the idea of letting a DJ play our wedding, so we cheekily used Spotify throughout the night. This move by Spotify is clearly a shot at the likes of Soundcloud (who are crawling into Spotify’s territory with their new premium streaming service, Soundcloud Go), and feels a lot more logical for Spotify than the other direction does for Soundcloud.
But there are hurdles, and even though this is happening, I think it’ll be pretty limited in scope. Firstly, Spotify’s library of music is much more mainstream than Soundcloud’s (for example). If the DJ mixes have limitations on what tracks can be uploaded, this could hold them back. If they market it like that, perhaps more as a mobile or ‘party DJ’ niche, this could appeal to quite a broad group. I could see people like my sister (who, even in her 30s, still keeps tabs on the UK Top 40) really gelling with the concept.
One thing’s for sure: to me this feels like one more nail in Soundcloud’s coffin. It feels like every move them make gets countered before they can recover. And I say that as a very regular Soundcloud listener. Incidentally, one other bit of news out of the first day of the summit is that “Techno is now the best-selling genre on Beatport, overtaking tech house”. Take that, EDM.
Will this news convince you to switch to Spotify from another streaming service? What would you do to get your mix to stand out and make more money?
No word yet on when Spotify DJ mixes will be available, so stay tuned for that.