Music production and DJing company Native Instruments has snapped up startup MetaPop, appointing its founder, former Beatport CEO Matthew Adell, as its chief digital officer.
We first wrote about MetaPop a year ago, in February 2016, when the company announced its plans to find a legitimate business model around remixes and mash-ups.
MetaPop recently announced that it had successfully licensed more than 20,000 bootleg remixes, with the company paying rightsholders 70% of the subsequent revenues; remixers 15%, and keeping a 15% cut for itself.
Adell said then that MetaPop had built a catalogue of around 200,000 songs for DJs and producers to legally remix, sourced mainly from independent labels but with “at least one of the majors, if not more” predicted to join this year. The remixes have already appeared on Spotify, Tidal, SoundCloud, iTunes and Beatport among other digital music services.
Now his team will be working within Native Instruments, whose existing business focuses on the Traktor, Maschine and Komplete products for DJs and producers.
NI said in its announcement of the acquisition that Adell’s new role will see him “spearheading new strategies for the brand’s online product portfolio… to help shape the next generation of online services for music creators and performers”.
The two sides aren’t strangers: when Adell was Beatport CEO, Native Instruments was one of that company’s shareholders and board members. The MetaPop team will work within NI’s Los Angeles office.
“MetaPop was born from an ambition to redefine the world of remixing music. Joining Native Instruments opens up new doors to build on our shared vision, working alongside leading talent and world-class products,” said Adell in a statement.
The acquisition is the latest development around a topic that’s currently exercising plenty of smart brains in and around the music industry: making money from ‘derivative’ works like remixes and mash-ups.
MetaPop’s main rival was Dubset Media, which has been working on its own platform for licensing these kinds of works, armed with deals with Apple Music and Spotify. Dubset closed a $4m funding round in February.
The latter company, meanwhile, recently acquired early-stage British startup Sonalytics, whose technology included the ability to locate musical stems within derivative works.
Meanwhile, music-streaming service SoundCloud recently opened up its SoundCloud Premier royalties program to DJs and producers creating remixes, with a similar goal of helping them make money from their work, while also paying the original tracks’ rightsholders.