Proprietary music-fingerprinting and rights negotiation platform Pex has acquired Dubset, a licensing platform for DJ mixes, live performances, and other, similar original content.
Dubset has focused on enabling DJ sets, remixes, and other spontaneous musical concoctions to be recognized by Spotify and other streaming services. The startup fingerprints—and secures royalties for —approximately 45 million works and represents about 50,000 artists.
Pex, for its part, has compiled a massive song database and is able to quickly search content-sharing and social media platforms for audio. Accurate song identifications can be made with samples as small as half a second in length, according to Pex, and the program can even pinpoint remixes and covers. On Pex, rightsholders are also able to negotiate royalties with those who’ve used their works.
In terms of the purchase price, that’s anyone’s guess.
TechCrunch indicated that the deal cost somewhere between $25 million and $50 million, a yawningly-large (and extremely high) pricetag, though those with knowledge of the matter haven’t publicly revealed a figure.
The move is likely part of Pex’s larger strategic vision of dramatically expanding its market share once the much-debated European Union Copyright Directive goes into place.
EU member states have until June 21st, 2021 to implement the law, which will, among other things, place the legal liability of unlicensed media usage on the shoulders of tech and content platforms. Stated concisely, websites themselves will be (legally) at fault if their users upload copyrighted works without owning the corresponding rights or receiving express permission from the rightsholder.
One country that won’t be participating in the Directive is the UK, which is now flexing its post-Brexit freedoms.
Pex has also announced its Attribution Engine plugin, which will presumably identify copyrighted content before non-rightsholders can complete the uploading process — thereby saving platforms time and resources, in addition to limiting their liability under the Copyright Directive.
Social media platforms and content-sharing websites will be able to integrate the software into their existing interfaces. And on the content owners’ end, the Attribution Engine is expected to function as Pex currently does, in terms of song identifications and royalty negotiations.
An official announcement of the Pex-Dubset deal is expected within the next few days.