Pioneer Wants to Track Every Song DJs Play…

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Pioneer DJ (the company that recently spun-off from Pioneer) is trying to roll out their KUVO platform to a wider audience. KUVO is a “social platform… that connects clubbers, DJs, and clubs around the world“. It’s already being used by Ministry of Sound, Space, Pacha, XOYO, and other clubs.

Basically, KUVO is a black box that connects to wifi and Pioneer decks at the club. Pioneer is the leader in DJ hardware, and many clubs have compatible hardware.

When DJs play their sets, the KUVO box automatically pulls artist and track information and uploads it to the KUVO online platform (as long as DJs pass it through Pioneer Rekordbox software). Club-goers, labels, fans, and artists can go to the KUVO website or app to see what tracks are playing at clubs in real time. Fans can use the map feature to discover nearby clubs, and DJs can sign up for the KUVO platform to add additional information about their tracks.

Artist Richie Hawtin thinks this could change the game for DJ charts, by providing more accurate information on what is being played.

Pioneer will also report information to performance rights organizations, so artists can receive accurate payments. DJ Seth Troxler says he currently has to fill out sheets by hand with songs played in his sets, and club owners turn these sheets into PROs. It’s difficult and often times impossible to remember what songs were played during a set. KUVO will automate the process and make sure the money goes to the right people.

This sounds great, but it seems like a lot of unnecessary steps. Couldn’t Pioneer develop audio detection software that runs on a tablet or phone?

 

Nina Ulloa covers breaking news, tech, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @nine_u

21 Responses

  1. adolf

    “Artist Richie Hawtin thinks this could change the game for DJ charts, by providing more accurate information on what is being played.”

    hahahahahahahaha!

    there will be soon a tool who fakes tracks and gigs

    Reply
  2. steveh

    “KUVO will automate the process and make sure the money goes to the right people.”

    Problem is that many or even most dance tracks are created by people who are outside the PRO system – so any money generated gets shared out by the PROs on a pro-rata basis that has no connection to dance music – so theoretically part of the share goes to people like Paul McCartney and Elton John…

    Reply
    • Tom Bones

      Exactly, so this system will help allocate the revenues to the right artists instead of sending money to Paul McCartney and Elton John. What is more it’s very easy to register with the collection societies such as PPL to receive those royalties. A win win win situation!

      Reply
      • Anon

        PPL don’t pay out for live performances which will make that scenario a little less ‘win win’!

        Reply
        • Tom Bones

          ‘PPL licenses recorded music played in public and distributes the fees as royalties to its members.’ so if there is a DJ set, then there is recorded music played, and therefore royalties are due. So my point is still valid. A win win win situation.

          Reply
          • Anon

            It’s actually PRS that would pay out in this case. PPL don’t census collect data from venues of recorded music is played. This is due to the fee paid being so low that they calculate it on a sample basis using methodologies including charts etc. The money wouldn’t be worth counting even if it was census.

            PRS will only pay the songwriter for a live performance, and the issue is set list reporting. Another issue to bring up is that DJ’s performing live pay a lower tariff than that of an conventional band i.e. 3% of box office receipts. Again, the pot of money at the minute isn’t great and the promoters need to start adhering to the 3% rule if that pot is going to be worth collecting. It’s further diluted by the sheer number of songs exploited within a DJ set in comparison to a bands 10-15 song set list.

    • steveh

      Hi Tom Bones – I think you misunderstand.

      The problem is not whether or not the producers or remixers are registered with PPL.

      The problem is the tracks themselves – played by the DJs – which are often obscure upfront pre-release promos or remixes that are not registered or even registerable. That’s the nature of the beast unfortunately.

      “KUVO” will make more money for Elton & McCartney – not for dance producers or remixers.

      Reply
      • Tom Bones

        It’s the opposite mate 🙂 you’re describing a situation what is happening now! The pre-release promos, demos, or whatever are played, and no one is keeping a track on them, so therefore the majority of the royalties are going to Elton John or whatever.

        If that device was in place it will actually help to keep track of those demos, promos, dubplates etc, and PPL will make sure there is money waiting for artists to come and claim it. Instead of blindfoldedly giving it to Elton.

        Reply
        • steveh

          No I still think you have it back to front:- a large percentage the pre-release tracks, dubplates and whatever are not registered on the PPL database as existing tracks. The KUVA software will not alter this. PPL cannot pay out on a track that is not in its database.

          A large amount of dance music is off the PPL radar, so even if KUVA flags something up the performance royalty will not reach the music creator because their creations do not exist as far as PPL are concerned.

          Reply
  3. Versus

    I hope the system also deletes pirated tracks from DJs’ laptops and charges their credit cards for them.

    Reply
    • JUSTIN MAYER

      Shortsighted thinking…

      Legislation, laws and enforcement are the wrong answer for the problem! Too many people are pushing the wrong solution, and that is very frightening.

      While i do agree that using others property for monetary gain is wrong and criminal, in the instance of DJ’s there is a benefit they are publicly providing to the artists and labels. Many times the bigger dj’s, regardless their marketing and image and propaganda, will have the license from the labels and publishers required and them saying otherwise are lies in order to push agendas, and that should be prisonable.

      Its all goal post moving to once again placate those who are already placated.

      Fining downloaders and sharers is the dumbest most shortsighted move around.

      A properly designed digital network would not only compensate me everytime someone downloaded my music for free or got shared for free, the person who shared my song to someone else would also get some sort of micropayment!

      THAT is the answer! Of course too many greasy criminals make too much with the current 1-Way system and therefore are applying significant pressure to ensure their schemes are perpetuated.

      Anyhoo…

      – JUSTIN MAYER

      Reply
      • Versus

        You say:
        1. “Fining downloaders and sharers is the dumbest most shortsighted move around.”

        2. “A properly designed digital network would not only compensate me everytime someone downloaded my music for free or got shared for free, the person who shared my song to someone else would also get some sort of micropayment!”

        Until (and if ever) a fair and universal system of point #2 is in place, #1 is the best option.

        Reply
      • Versus

        “While i do agree that using others property for monetary gain is wrong and criminal, in the instance of DJ’s there is a benefit they are publicly providing to the artists and labels. ”

        The benefit does not negate the crime. One may just as well steal food from a restaurant and claim that by eating it in public they are benefiting the restaurant via free promotion.

        I am a DJ (among my other musical roles), and I receive legitimate tracks directly from labels as promos and via legal DJ pools who make deals directly with the labels. Beyond that, I pay for my music for DJing, just like I used to pay for vinyl for DJing. I also buy the software I use for DJing, production, and all else. (I used to be an app and OS developer also, so I see both sides of that situation also).

        However, so many DJs simply pirate most or all of their material. I have had other DJs (as well as non-DJ attendees) come up to me at gigs and ask if they could copy my entire music library. They thought nothing wrong with this. A bit of education about the wrongness/criminality/harm done through such is in order.

        Reply
    • Versus

      I hear you.

      Find a better DJ, who plays music you admire and enjoy.

      Else, just “DJ” for yourself and your friends…the invention of playlists are a godsend in that regard.

      Reply
  4. Paul Resnikoff
    Paul Resnikoff

    Interesting. There’s a startup I met with recently that can separate all of the component samples in a DJ mix, and back that into their payout db to determine who should be getting what.

    Reply
    • Manny

      This sounds really cool. Can it separate it into stems? For example, the hi-hat track, kick track, snare track etc.. or does it just separate the songs if two songs have been mixed together?

      Reply
    • Versus

      That sounds great.

      MixCloud accomplishes half this process (or so it claims), in paying out to the rights-holders of tracks in a mix, but it’s up the uploading DJ to actually ID and mark the tracks, which can be tedious with their current interface.

      An automatic “content ID” system for tracks in mixes would be a very positive step in remunerating the track creators and rights-holders.

      Reply

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