Last month, in one of a series of announcements for the streaming platform, Apple Music announced a partnership with Boiler Room.
Boiler Room announced they will be bringing DJ mixes to the platform. 100% of royalties from tracks streamed via the sets will go straight to rights-holders and the DJs themselves will also be compensated. Boiler Room will also have a weekly show on Apple Music 1 – Boiler Room Radio – where listeners can find in-depth interviews and mixes from featured artists. In a press release they wrote “A catalogue of over 200 of the most influential recordings from Boiler Room’s ten-year history; all on Apple Music.”
They continued, “The partnership launches with the common aim to compensate all artists involved in a DJ set. Not only does that mean payment for DJs but crucially also, compensation for the artists, producers and songwriters behind the music in the mix. With 100% of royalties from the streams going to rights holders, this is an initiative we’re immensely proud to be a part of.”
As new radio shows and archive sets continue to populate Boiler Room’s curator channel, we spoke to Boiler Room’s VP for Partnerships, Tom Wiltshire, via email to learn more about the joint venture and what it could mean for artists moving forward.
For people that might not understand the wider system for rights-holders with broadcast sets, give us some background to the climate that helped inform this new venture?
Prior to this, mixes would sit in this grey area online whereby none of the rights-holders were being directly compensated for the streams of that content. There were possibly some trickle down benefits making their way to artists via the rights holders of that music, but no one was able to attribute the direct impact. And in any of the existing models up until now, rarely were DJs being compensated for a mix.
Is compensating artists and DJs something that’s been explored before at Boiler Room? Why do you think it’s come to fruition now?
It’s been the elephant in the room since the beginning of the company. As a start up it would have been impossible to pay artists for free events. Historically artists only got paid for sponsored shows, and in recent years through ticketed events as per any usual booking. But being able to compensate artists for editorial content is difficult to do but ultimately something we deem necessary. And that’s even more true during these uncertain times.
If possible, can you break down the splits and details of the deal? Were artists consulted at all?
DJs were all contacted before to get approval, which will continue. Whilst I don’t think anyone is going to be buying a house from this to begin with, it’s a significant start and something the team at Apple Music should be commended on creating. It was a huge grey area that no one was solving!
How do you think the pandemic has influenced or accelerated this venture?
In truth it hasn’t. It was being worked on for a long time before Boiler Room got involved. That said the pandemic has made it even more relevant to the general conversation around how underground music maintains itself in a post-COVID world.
The Boiler Room Radio show will be tied to this venture, what sort of exposure are you hoping to offer artists through that platform?
We are launching with some of our most influential sets accompanied by interviews with those artists, firstly with 3 shows from the archive and then a selection of our isolation series. In time we hope to build it into an exclusive moment with content premiering on the show. It’s a huge, global opportunity for all artists involved. We’re excited with what we have in the works for our show this year.