The change in remix culture – what this means for artists

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Since it first became popular in the 1970s, remixing has been an integral aspect of the electronic music scene, accounting for a huge proportion of the tracks we see released today. At times, remixes often outdo original mixes in popularity, providing a unique blend of multiple musicians’ talents to create a unique end product. Within the music industry, opinions towards remixes are beginning to shift, with listeners and streaming sites beginning to value remixes in the same way as original mixes. This change has seen a huge shift in the industry, with remixes becoming more popular than ever before.

Spotify policy change

Streaming giant Spotify only this year made a huge change regarding their remix policy. Whereas originally a remix would not be counted as part of an artist’s streaming stats, the platform has now completely adapted its rules. As of 2018, any remix streams will be added to the remixing artist’s monthly stream count, providing a huge boost to artists who often release remixes. Remixes now also have the ability to be shown in the remixing artist’s popular and latest release sections on their profile, giving remixes the attention they truly deserve. This change will see a huge shift, particularly in the electronic music industry, as artists will now have even more reason to release remixes as well as original tracks. But what amounted to this seemingly sudden shift in policy?

The development of the definition

The change in Spotify’s policy could be attributed partially to the evolution of remixes over time. When remixing first became popular, remixes would be much more similar to the original track, with only minor adaptations made. Over time, it has become increasingly common for artists to completely rethink an entire track, and totally adapt it to their own style. Modern-day remixes even occasionally see the introduction of a brand new melody or synths, making remixed tracks almost unrecognizable in comparison to the original release. This is particularly true for artists like Kygo and Zedd, who both have a distinctive signature style, meaning that their remixes tend to vary widely from the original release. With remixes now involving so much creativity and original content, it makes complete sense for more credit to be given to those remixing releases.

The ripple effect

This shift will have a huge impact on the music industry as a whole, but will particularly affect the dance music industry, in which a huge proportion of releases are remixes. Undoubtedly, Spotify will become an even more useful platform for producers, with even more potential for widespread success. Particularly for those who are just starting out, and may not have released many original tracks so far in their career, the ability to feature remixes as part of your whole discography will completely bulk out the profiles of future stars and revitalize their offering.

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The value of remixes

Remixes are a vital part of the music industry as a whole, providing a unique blend of genres, styles and talents. Unlike collaborations, remixes give listeners the best of each contributing artist by allowing them the freedom to make the track completely their own, without the influence of other artists. Remixes grant listeners the opportunity to experience an original track a countless number of times in a number of different styles, providing even more content for the listener. Without the existence of remixes, many of the world’s most iconic tracks would not exist. A notable example of this is Alesso’s remix of ‘If I Lose Myself’ by OneRepublic, a track which many would regard as one of the most iconic commercial dance releases of all time.

Spotify’s policy adaptation will no doubt be the start of a shift in the music industry, giving more credit to those who produce remixes. This shift across the industry has the potential to increase the volume of remixes we see emerging in the future, as artists will have more to gain from embarking on remix projects. This change has certainly been needed for some time, as remixes require a huge amount of creativity and ingenuity in their own right, and some would say that a remix is just as difficult to produce as an original. The introduction of this policy change by Spotify will undoubtedly be a positive in the electronic music industry, giving more credit to producers who have long deserved praise for their forward-thinking, diverse remixes. This could even lead to an increase in remixes, yet another huge positive for the industry as a whole.