The Future FM Breaks Compensation Ground—DJs Now Have A Royalty Based Revenue Stream
How many times have you heard a rising website claiming that they’re the “end all, be all” solution for online music? Way too many times to count, if you ask me. It’s a funny thing to see people state that their project is the future of music as we know it, because who really knows what the next handful of years will bring? The reality is that nobody really knows, but I can predict one thing; it’s going to start getting a lot harder to find the music you really want because there’s simply too much out there online. So basically unless you know what you’re trying to find, you’re probably going to get lost. It’s already been happening for a while.
It was a couple of weeks ago I was introduced to the staff over at The Future FM, an online service that is carefully curated to bring you the best new music from trusted DJs, tasteful fans, and even offers legitimate pay to the talent in which the music came from. And it’s free for registration. The platform is well thought out and allows listeners to cycle through many different genres of DJ mixes of their choice, which opens the door to infinite new musical discoveries…all while helping out the artists responsible for such. I thought I’d be best to share the creator’s thoughts, so we set up a little interview with Dave Stein, the mind behind the project.
[quote]“It is the first time ever that mixed audio and long form audio content can be legalized and legitimized…so that the DJs can monetize their mixes and the rights-holders can be fairly compensated.”[/quote]
The site itself is pretty straight forward, but what exactly made you want to start this? What do you feel other music-hosting sites are doing wrong?
The original idea really came from a desire to want to enable people to relive the incredible experience they had hearing a great DJ spin at a club or festival. Knowing the power that a great DJ can have to connect with an audience, the prospect of being able to bring that experience home, or on the go, was very compelling.
Once I started looking into what was needed to turn the idea into reality, it became clear what the real challenge was—creating a technical and scalable solution to allow DJs to make their mixes legal so that they could be both legally distributed and monetized. The opportunity to, for the first time, make DJ mixes fully legal and fair so that everyone—the rights holders of the music in the mix, as well as the DJ making the mix—can be compensated for their work, was then, and still is now, ground breaking and too good of an opportunity to pass up.
The other music hosting sites aren’t compensating either the rights holders of the content within the mix or the DJ that is creating the mix. Beyond that there isn’t much more to say, as we would rather focus on what we are doing right, versus what others are doing wrong.
TheFuture.FM does a lot more than simply allow users to upload their mixes. Would you mind going over the big picture of the project?
The big picture is a game changer for the industry as well as consumers. It is the first time ever that mixed audio and long form audio content can be legalized and legitimized in an automated and scalable manner, so that the DJs can monetize their mixes, the rights-holders can be fairly compensated, and brands can legally and risk free participate in the unique and powerful connection that a DJ has with his or her audience.
We will be opening up a massive new revenue stream for the music industry, a massive new marketing, branding and media tool for brands and DJs alike, a never-seen-before royalty based revenue stream for DJs, and in the process give consumers a platform that has the world’s best curated, mixed audio content, and not only provides advanced recommendations but is full searchable by DJ, genre and song.
One of the many things that set you guys apart is a unique technology that nobody else is using. How does it work, and how may listeners and artists both benefit from its service?
The patented and proprietary technology that we have developed is called MixSCAN. It works by extracting the Meta data from any mixed or long form audio content and identifying the individual songs, or portions of songs being used within the mix. It identifies portions of songs, even if they are mixed together with other songs. It creates an automated report of the tracks identified, allows the DJ to make manual adjustments or sync with their crate file before finalizing the report and then submits the report to the relevant PRO’s to make sure that all of the copyright holders of the songs in the mix get paid their proper royalties.
Artists whose music is used in a DJ mix benefit in that now the plays of their music within a DJ’s mix can be tracked and the artist can receive royalty payments for every spin of their song.
DJs as artists benefit because they now have a legal mix that they can monetize, and they will be set up to begin receiving royalties for the spins of their mixes. The listeners benefit because they have one centralized hub to effectively search for the mixes they want to hear know they are listening to mixes, where
One problem that I encounter with somewhat similar sites like Soundcloud is the fact that they’re unable to keep their service organized and simple due to the amount of users that are uploading and interacting everyday. It’s become too hard to find exactly what you’re trying to come across. How is TheFutureFM different in that sense?
Our content is ingested and curated by the DJs themselves or our in house team. This means there is a much higher degree of accuracy as it pertains to proper naming and tagging.
At the moment, your site is free to become involved in. But it also says that TheFutureFM will be paying the deserving artists featured in the mixes. How is this possible and how do you think this could change things for DJs and artists in the long run?
This is possible through MixSCAN our proprietary and patented technology that can identify the songs within any mix and properly pay all of the rights holders.
This will have a major impact for DJs and artists in that it opens up a huge new royalty stream for the artists whose music is mixed by DJs and finally provides a fully legal opportunity for DJs to monetize their mixes.
What sort of additional features of the site can we look forward to in the near future? Any further concepts in the works?
The ability to search by a song, and pull up all of the mixes on Thefuture.fm that contain that song, allowing the user to choose the DJ, type of genre or themed mix that best suits how they want to hear that particular song, and then start their listening experience right at that song in the mix.
The big new concept in the works is the Mobile Mix Marketplace. Stay Tuned!
Big thanks to their team for taking the time to answer some questions! While the future may be unclear, The Future FM seems to be holding it down as the best solution for online music streaming in a way that isn’t touched by others. I look forward to observing their growth… hit me up on there if you end up getting an account.