Mixcloud Signs with Warner

DJ Richie Hawtins

DJ Richie Hawtins is one of a million contributors to Mixcloud’s playlists. (Photo: Awakenings.NL)

London-based Mixcloud, a subscription streaming service formed by Cambridge University engineering students, has signed a deal with Warner Music Group that it hopes will be the foundation of a rival service to SoundCloud. The London-based firm, which has a following in the EDM community, is said to also be in conversations with Universal Music and Sony Music.

It’s a crowded space, with companies from Tesla to Amazon diving in, but Mixcloud founders say they’ve got a different take on how paid music services should be sold. Company co-fonder and director of content Nico Perez told the Financial Times that he plans to build offerings around specific personalities and make content available either a la carte or in tiers. That is in contrast to the flat-fee “all you can eat” rates offered by competing services.

The company has managed to set itself apart as a place mixtape enthusiasts can find and share music. About 17 million users a month tune in to DJ shows hosted by the Talking Heads’ David Byrne and British techno producer Carl Cox. Richie Hawtin, Moby and Tiesto are among the million or so “curators” who have uploaded mixes, each typically just under an hour, according to the service. In all, there are more than 12 million on-demand offerings in its inventory, the company said.

Mixcloud officially launched in 2009, but traces its roots to 2005, when Perez and his friends wanted to create an easy way to share music online, and decided to try to build a “YouTube for radio,” according to the Financial Times interview, which describes Mixcloud as specializing in “long-form audio, with the average programme running about 45 minutes,” and like SoundCloud, relying on user-uploaded content.

“Since the beginning, we have worked with rights holders to both monetize long-form audio and champion the importance of curation in the streaming industry,” said Perez in a statement announcing the deal on Oct. 9. “As we embark on direct licensing relationships with the major labels,” he continued, “we are committed to doing what is best for artists, curators, music fans, and the industry.”

 

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