DJs Finally Get a Break as Sony Music Starts Licensing Its Stems

Have DJs finally found a way to create new mixes from high-quality stems?

For years, DJs, producers, and remixers have had to rely on non-legal stems to create mixes of popular songs.  Now, music creators may finally have a legal way to create and legally distribute remixes.

Following a landmark deal with Sony Music, Nashville-based music tech company Remix Hits announced the creation of a hit song ‘stem marketplace.’

Through their remix licensing model, Remix Hits will offer DJs, producers, and remixers the ability to purchase and download licensed ‘stems’ (isolated instrument tracks and vocals) from Sony Music.  Creators can then legally release their mixes via the Remix Hits Platform.

In addition, said the company, the remix licensing model includes a revenue share plan to fairly compensate rights holders.

The Remix Hits distribution platform uses a patent-pending, remix centered form of audio identification technology dubbed INSIGHT.  The company designed INSIGHT to detect copyrighted material at the stem level.  It identifies if a material has been chopped, reversed, pitch shifted, time stretched, distorted, and compressed to extreme levels.

In a statement, Sam Brooker, CEO of Remix Hits, lamented the complicated licensing state of remix culture.  Brooker explained the vision behind the music tech company and how Remix Hits will provide a clear licensing solution.

We’ve created a technology that’s finally caught up to the needs of the remix culture

“It’s been really tough over the decades watching all the instances of copyright infringement end in takedowns and litigation against remixers, all the while artists and rights holders continue to suffer from lost revenue.

“It was a no-brainer that we needed to create a system that gave remixers access to legal stems and the legal release opportunities they’ve been dreaming of.

“We also provide a brand new revenue opportunity to help reinvigorate the music industry we love so much.  I’m excited about being able to legally release major label content, and the chance to do this the right way… we’re about to create some big opportunities for their artists and all aspiring remix artists around the world.

Remix Hits is currently in their second round of funding.

The music tech company has also confirmed to Digital Music News that talks have begun with WMG and Universal Music.

Image by Victor Camilo (CC by 2.0)

6 Responses

  1. Jon

    Aren’t dubset already doing this? And I’m sure you have to have your ‘remix’ accepted by the label and artist first – so it’s not like you can just remix stuff and boom you’re on Apple Music.

    • Seth

      Hey Jon – Seth from Remix Hits here:

      Actually, our model is based on pre-clearing content from rights holders. Once you complete your remix, you’ll upload to us, and we’ll distribute for you! We’ll be releasing more specifics on this process soon!

  2. VoteCrowley

    As long as we get the stems, doesn’t matter all that much. This can kill the illegal stem selling.

    • Seth

      That’s the idea! We’re going to do for the stem market what streaming did to music piracy – if we give people a fair, affordable alternative, there’s no reason to pirate. By building an equitable bridge between the two parties (rights holders and music creators), there will no longer be a need for illegal file sharing and ‘bootleg’ releases.

      • Martin

        So basically a professional audio mixer mixes the original song, prints mix stems and delivers them to the label as part of the deliverables. Then a “DJ” or “Producer” downloads the mixers mix stems fro your site, just add 2 or 3 loops and chops up the vocal and makes money using the work of another person who doesn’t get compensated for this new derivative work that wouldn’t have been possible without the work of the original mixer? Not to mention the implications of the producer and all the other musicians and engineers involved. I smell a lot of potential legal problems with this.

        • Sam

          Actually, the original rights holders have so much to gain…new income for their recordings and infinite new copyrights based on legal registered new versions. We just want to make it a win win for all..embrace the creative culture of remixers and reward them for their efforts…it really can be a win for all sides. We think you are going to be super stoked when you see how it all works. We’ve been developing this concept for almost 3 years…under the radar, working with DJs and Industry pros. Excited to share details as we move forward!