With the relaunch of Dubset as Thefuture.fm, many of my previous questions about monetizing the service have been answered. More importantly for djs, Thefuture.fm presents a platform for legally uploading mixes for self-marketing and, eventually, for a royalty revenue stream. For copyright holders, Thefuture.fm returns as a service that will pay appropriate fees for music included in uploaded mixes and identified by their patented MixSCAN technology.
"a completely overhauled platform, enhanced functionality, social sharing tools, an embeddable player, proprietary search and recommendation algorithm, and more music from the world's most prominent and talented DJs."
Though Thefuture.fm is likely to benefit from the growing popularity of electronic dance music, they feature mixes from a wide range of djs from:
"Swedish House Mafia, Tiesto, Skrillex to Indie rock curated by artists like Cobra Starship, Pete Wentz, RAC, Dragonette to notables like Open-Format and hip hop celebrity DJs such as Oprah and Barack Obama's DJ Cassidy."
Founder and CEO Dave Stein filled me in on some of the details in addition to what I gathered from the website and press release.
Thefuture.fm functions as a noninteractive web radio platform. It's free to listeners though premium and mobile offerings are in the works. DJs can upload their mixes for free and eventually will receive some form of royalty payment.
Tracks used in the mixes are identified by Thefuture.fm's patented MixSCAN tech and they have filed additional patents for related tech as well as for a search algorithm that will soon be launched on the site. Copyright holders are paid appropriate royalties by Thefuture.fm.
Songs included in mixes are available for sale via affiliate links to Amazon and iTunes. Thefuture.fm is planning branded offerings and is in the process of partnering and/or licensing with livestreaming and background music companies. The branding process also involves connecting djs with brands which includes offline events.
The basic idea is to explore all possibilities for monetizing longform audio mixes as mixtapes, podcasts and livestreams in a manner that benefits all stakeholders.
Thefuture.fm is an innovative platform and definitely a startup to watch.
For a somewhat gossipy presentation of certain aspects of their development, you can check out Erin Griffith's piece at PandoDaily.
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith blogs about business at Flux Research: Business & Revenue Models and maintains an audio blog at snd1.mobi. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.