How sped-up remixes are financially impacting the music business
The evolution of the music business and the consumption of music has been massive in the years since Napster first appeared and set off a cultural shift in how the industry operates and how artists would get paid. Now insiders of the music business have recognized another massive trend that appears to be siphoning millions of dollars from artists and rights holders on streaming platforms.
As the ability to download music as well as augment and create sounds from anywhere with budding technology has reshaped the way artists produce tracks, there has also been a growing trend of sped-up remixes and mash-ups often utilized in TikTok videos and the creation of content with the intent of going viral. The influx of these remixes is so prevalent, that Larry Mills, the Senior VP of Sales at Pex estimates that “at least 1% of all songs on [streaming platforms] are modified audio.” The ability of users to upload leaked tracks or remixes to streaming services has seen a unique divide and sometimes unsettling relationship as platforms such as Spotify, Deezer, and Apple Music operate generally as middlemen for the delivery of music. The sentiment was summed up by Deezer CEO Jeronimo Folgueira in a statement earlier this year:
“Historically, streaming services don’t have an economic incentive to actually care about that. We don’t care whether you listen to the original Drake, fake Drake, or a recording of the rain. We just want you to pay $10.99.” Folgueira called that incentive structure “actually a bad thing for the industry.”
Of course, this attitude is not shared by the artists and rights holders who lose out on income when a fake upload or remix is causing funds to be diverted from them. With artists reaching out to labels and other industry insiders looking for answers on how to protect their creations and ensure that they receive proper payment for their works while cutting down on unauthorized streams and diverted funds, many are working hard to try to at least keep up with the rapidly evolving technology, especially the launch of AI, that is only making the problem more persistent. Many labels and other industry players are hoping that digital fingerprinting companies such as Pex will help provide solutions for this ever-evolving situation.