Streaming site Mixcloud inks deal in sign of ambitions

Dutch DJ Tiesto, pictured here during a show in the Dominican Republic in 2014, is a fan of streaming platform Mixcloud
Dutch DJ Tiesto, pictured here during a show in the Dominican Republic in 2014, is a fan of streaming platform Mixcloud

Mixcloud, the streaming platform popular with DJs and podcasters, announced its first licensing deal with a major music label Monday in a sign of ambitions to compete with top sites.

London-based Mixcloud signed an agreement with the Warner Music Group and indicated it was seeking deals with Sony and Universal, the other big two label conglomerates.

"As we embark on direct licensing relationships with the major labels, we are committed to doing what is best for artists, curators, fans and the industry," Mixcloud co-founder Nico Perez said in a joint statement with Warner.

Mixcloud says it has some one million active users, including star Dutch DJ Tiesto and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne, who produce unique content—such as shows with curated playlists and podcasts.

The platform has also become popular with radio stations and corporate brands that want to show off their creative side.

The licensing deals would give MixCloud access to works of major artists and allow it to compete with streaming sites led by Spotify, which has more than 60 million paying subscribers.

Pledging to prioritize paying artists properly, Mixcloud says it differs from the model popularized by Spotify of building up as much content as quickly as possible.

Mixcloud believes "more streaming music companies ought to be built and managed in a responsible way," Nikhil Shah, who co-founded the company with Perez when they were students at Cambridge, wrote last month in an opinion piece for the Music Business Worldwide blog.

It remains to be seen how the company would differentiate itself from Spotify and rivals such as Apple Music, Deezer and rapper Jay-Z's Tidal, which puts an emphasis on exclusive music and videos.

While Spotify has maintained a comfortable lead, music industry players see far more room for growth in streaming as user numbers have soared over the past few years.


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© 2017 AFP

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