It's true that The Mast didn't release their latest EP UpUpUp (Remixes) on Nintendo cartridge or other alternative media but they've done a pretty good job of covering all possible bases. They self-released on Bandcamp, released to iTunes via Channel A Records and pursued the Beatport crowd with the help of Playloop Records. It's a joint project but also a remix project allowing The Mast to expand their reach and introduce themselves to new audiences.
This unique approach came about due to what Playloop Records' Justin Paul described to Create Digital Music as a "special situation." He was hanging out with the artists whose previous album, Wild Poppies, was released on iTunes by Channel A Records. They played UpUpUp for him and he immediately recognized the remix possibilities which were also an interest of The Mast:
"I suggested that we do a hybrid deal. Have Playloop artists create exclusive remixes, and then release the EP via our EDM distribution channels such as Beatport and Juno. The version on iTunes and Bandcamp is slightly different. Both brands can leverage their audience and get DJs in the underground to help break the artist and record."
The Mast - UpUpUp ft. Pandora Marie
The Mast are Haale and Matt Kiomer of Brooklyn. They released the UpUpUp (Remixes) EP May 29th via the following outlets (at the very least):
Bandcamp (D2F, free streaming, name your price)
iTunes (via Channel A Records)
Beatport (via Playloop Records)
YouTube (video for UpUpUp shown above)
Revolutionary? Game changing? Of course not. Special projects and joint ventures are a well-established business practice. But it is a reminder that, as Peter Kirn discusses:
"Normally, people imagine working with labels (and labels working with artists) best left to exclusive deals, as either/or, as one choice over another. Here, there’s a true sense of collaboration. Ticking 'all of the above' may have been better for all parties involved."
Kirn also has more on the business arrangement from Playloop's Justin Paul:
"Deal structure: Partnership between Channel A & Playloop Records:"
"Channel A / The Mast keeps 100% of the royalties from iTunes, Bandcamp and etc."
"After Playloop remixers recoup their discounted production fee, the labels split royalties 50/50 from EDM distribution/stores, sync or other deals Playloop secures. Playloop remixers also get a piece of publishing if their derivative / remix gets public performance or sync deals."
"This maximizes leverage and helps establish a new model for artist and labels to follow. The traditional music business needs to evolve and allow deals like this to take place. The contract has been via email. It also has been evolving."
Both Justin Paul and Peter Kirn's statements are focused on the collaborative approach to reaching more channels but a big part of that approach was the use of remix artists to allow artists from one genre to connect with audiences of other genres. In this case the focus is on EDM remixes but not that long ago the more obvious way to stir things up would have been the use of hip hop remixes released as a mixtape. For a particularly interesting example check out Colin Munroe Is The Unsung Hero.
Note: I could not find a website for Channel A Records. The Playloop announcement links out to everybody but them. It kind of makes me wonder if Channel A is actually just The Mast which would make this story a wee bit less interesting.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) blogs about business at Flux Research: Business Changes and about dance at All World Dance: News. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.