Former Beatport CEO's New Venture Aims to Fix a Major Problem in EDM
Former CEO of Beatport, Matt Adell has a new startup designed to fix EDM's remix problem.
In Adell's eyes, rights holders are losing out every day on potential earnings from the more than 8 million fan remixes that currently live on YouTube, Soundcloud or Mixcloud. And meanwhile, producers continue to struggle with takedowns that can lead to strikes on their account.
And what about the fans? Based on his experience at Beatport and the streaming numbers on unofficial and bootleg remixes, Adell thinks listeners are missing out as a result of this problem, too.
So in an effort to benefit all parties and bring more harmony to the remix landscape, Adell launched MetaPop.
MetaPop is a new platform designed to simplify the licensing process for creators who want to expand their fan base through legitimate remixes while giving the rights-holding labels or artists the opportunity to earn money.
We believe you have the right to make Remixes. Fans want to hear your Remixes. All creators deserve to be compensated.
Labels and musicians can listen to uploaded remixes, choose their favorites and then easily distribute them through platforms like Apple Music and Spotify. And as of last week, remixers are able to instantly upload their creations to both their YouTube and SoundCloud pages.
Over 11,000 labels have signed up and uploaded content to MetaPop. We had a chance to catch up with Adell and ask some questions about the launch of his new startup, which he hopes will be a step towards solving the remix problem.
How will Metapop change the streaming landscape for producers and listeners beyond the obvious benefit of giving producers and remixers another opportunity to earn revenue from their creations?
We are very excited to be offering a way for remixers to know that they can share their creativity with the knowledge that it will not be taken down and they will not be threatened by lawyers. Takedowns suck.
How many tracks are being uploaded per day/week/or month right now on Metapop? What is some of the feedback you are receiving? Particularly how are independent artists and labels responding?
In just the last 3 months we have distributed and monetized about 1,000 remixes on youtube and 60 of them have been further distributed to Apple, Spotify, Beatport and other commercial services. Those numbers are scaling upwards every week.
Our remixer community has been very passionate and supportive. They come from all over the world. Some of our most active folks are from Mexico, Russia and Brazil. We have been able to be a part of dozen’s of artists getting their first commercial release which is very exciting for us and them.
We have about 100,000 tracks pre-cleared for remixing from independent labels from all over the world, with thousands more coming each week. At the current rate, that should be at about 500,000 tracks by the end of the year. That tells me labels and their artists are getting excited about what we can do.
What was the biggest challenge you overcame in launching Metapop?
Raising money for new music tech startups is very difficult. We are very happy to have such forward thinking investors on our team today.
What are some of the biggest takeaways from Beatport that are informing the Metapop model?
People want to create and they want to share what they have made. Copyright rules are confusing. Remixing is the first step towards becoming a producer.
Do you foresee Metapop being used by more aspiring, small- and mid-level artists as opposed to large, tier 1 artists?
I suppose it is a matter of timing. Today, we are focused on aspiring an up and coming artists. We are about to complete our first remix competition with a major label. So, it seems that we will add bigger and bigger artists over time as we grow.
If a track is uploaded to be cleared for remixes are artists able to select which ones they want to be published to DSPs?
When a track is pre-cleared for remixing on MetaPop, the remixer is guaranteed that her remix can live on youtube and soundcloud. It is up to our artist and label partners to determine which, if any, remixes end up on the commercial sites like Beatport, Spotify etc. We will not allow a remixer to turn an original song into “Hate Speech” or an unauthorized commercial, although so far, that has not happened.
What are your thoughts on the "war against YouTube" and streaming sites that major labels and artists claim are stealing from their revenue streams?
I don’t think there is actually a “War on Youtube and streaming sites”, but it is clear that some artists and labels are frustrated by the low amount of revenue being generated by some services that happen to have a lot of listening. Jimmy Iovine of Beats and Apple said something interesting last year... “Here’s a little statistic … [YouTube] are 40% of consumption of music and 4% of the revenue. That’s a problem! … They know that doesn’t work. But do they care? I have no idea.”
What was the most interesting or surprising remix you've come across on the platform?
My personal favorite so far is https://www.beatport.com/track/luxxury-take-it-slow-kontinents-remix/8071368.
You have described the end goal with Metapop as being "a transparent automated ecosystem for transformative media"... can you expound on this?
Transformative Media is a fancy legalistic way to describe remixes. I think it is part of human nature to create. In today’s digital world, creating something out of something else is a form of expression and communication that is growing exponentially. At MetaPop, we want to make this work for all kinds of creators.
I'm a storyteller at heart, and music makes my world go round.