Mixtapes have long been the lifeblood of hip hop. But most artists fell outside mainstream distribution channels, because of the licensing and copyright issues involved. This left a major income steam for both the original creators as well as the rap artists and DJs untapped.
Listen as we talk with Dubset CEO Steven White about what problems Dubset was created to solve and how they solve them!
Dubset has solved this problem!
Getting mixtapes, remixes, DJ sets, and other “derivative” works the licenses they need, including a partnership with SoundCloud, which is allowing for the proper licensing and monetization of these types of releases for the very first time!
If you are a Rap artist or DJ that wants to get clearance for your mixtape you can upload it directly to www.mixbank.com and the best part is it’s FREE to use for content creators!
Dubset is showing their clearance chops in a big way with the release of The Live Mixtape [#Top5MCs Edition] from J.PERIOD (maker of the Grammy-winning Hamilton mixtape) featuring hip hop legends Rakim, Pharoahe Monch, and Black Thought.
The Live Mixtape [#Top5MCs Edition] was recorded live in one take. This is the first time a project of this kind in this format has been cleared for commercial distribution, and its placement on streaming services is only possible through the work Dubset is doing. This project is a tipping point for Dubset as well as the music industry, marking the first major release in what promises to be a giant influx of content that was unclearable until now.
The Live Mixtape [#Top5MCs Edition] is also available on Apple Music
How is it Done?
It’s the stuff of fans’ dreams–and clearance and copyright teams’ nightmares. But it’s a breeze for Dubset, the tech-meets-rights-management powerhouse that can clear everything from mixtapes to remixes at scale and turn them into revenue for artists and writers. This is the first time a project of this kind in this format has been cleared for commercial distribution.
“The goal of The Live Mixtape is to create a real Hip Hop moment—to gather these incredible artists together on one stage, to perform and record a mixtape live, in one take. That’s something that hasn’t really been done before,” states J.PERIOD. “The Live Mixtape is a return to Hip Hop’s core principles—real MCing, real DJing—captured for the world to hear. Opening that experience up to the streaming world was the only missing piece of the puzzle.”
Enter Dubset. “The traditional clearance process is broken. It requires artists to retain lawyers, individual requests to be submitted. It requires lengthy clearance periods and often hefty advances. This simply doesn’t work in a world of exploding content creation,” says Dubset CEO Stephen White. “Dubset uses very advanced matching technology and broad licenses that enable clearance at scale, while ensuring artists get paid for their work. This unlocks the tremendous creativity of artists like J.PERIOD and allows them to create amazing projects like the live mixtape while ensuring rightsholders’ wishes are adhered to.”
This kind of work may feel deep in the weeds, but it’s been a key stumbling block to putting popular forms of sampling and remixed tracks on large music services like Spotify and Apple Music. Hip hop, House, and Electronic music launched an entire ecosystem of remixes, DJ sets, samples, and mashups. This ecosystem grew even richer with the advent of user upload sites like YouTube and SoundCloud.
There’s been money to be made, deep catalogs to be revitalized and royalties to be created. However, sites like YouTube and SoundCloud are where these tracks and sets have been forced to live, as there’s been no solid licensing structures in place to deal systematically and quickly with the clearance process. Moreover, these “derivative” works were often viewed with suspicion by labels and publishers, even as they were pillars of the hip hop and club communities.
Dubset decided to address this dilemma by building licensing technologies along with trust from publishers and recordings rights holders, in fact creating an entirely new licensing approach and metadata system to ensure everyone gets identified and paid. Urban and rap artists can now simply upload their mixtapes and Dubset’s MixBANK platform does the rest. Beginning with identifying underlying recordings and compositions and assigning new track identifiers prior to distribution, Dubset provides ecosystem transparency and royalty accuracy. Thanks to Dubset’s extensive catalog of over thirty five million tracks, broad sets of content can now be properly cleared and compliantly delivered to the world’s music services.
“Mixtapes have been recorded, sold, and shared for the last thirty years. However, very little monetization has ever occured. By establishing a valuable library of this content within music services, the music industry can now open a new segment of consumers to subscription services, the label and publisher’s Holy Grail,” notes Dubset SVP of Global Licensing Bob Barbiere. “There’s a massive vault of back-catalog that’s ready-to-go, not to mention the millions of hours of Hip Hop mixtapes being created each year. Our success is not only a win for music fans, it’s a big stride forward for rightsholders by accelerating the subscription pie for all.”
“What Dubset has accomplished here is truly groundbreaking. If The Hamilton Mixtape changed the game, Dubset has redefined the ground rules from here on out,” points out J.PERIOD. “The idea that we can create and capture a moment like this, and then share it in the streaming realm, opens up a world of creative possibilities for the future of DJs. We set out to create a moment, and showcase three of Hip Hop’s greatest MC’s. Now, thanks to Dubset, that moment, frozen in time, can be shared openly with the entire world.”