Are artists being ripped off by remix fees?
US producer Medasin took to Twitter to share his experience on remix fees in reference to a remix he made for KUČKA.
Medasin released a remix of KUČKA's Honey in 2016 and is currently sitting on just under 17 million streams. The track is also sitting on over 9.6 million views on YouTube channel Majestic Casual, and 2.8 million views on the audio. It is her biggest strong on streaming services, sitting at the top of her profile on streaming services.
He took to Twitter to say, "my remix of kucka - honey has 17 million streams on Spotify and 10 mil on YouTube and is Kucka’s most played song ever. I got paid 150$ for that remix hahaha."
my remix of kucka - honey has 17 million streams on Spotify and 10 mil on YouTube and is Kucka’s most played song ever. I got paid 150$ for that remix hahaha.— medasin (@MedasinMusic) August 11, 2022
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This is largely a comment on the music industry and its structure with electronic remixes, rather than a critique of KUČKA or her label's specific strategy.
A common practice for remixes for smaller artists includes a flat fee for the remix service without any future royalty payments for the remixer artist. The remixer will receive the flat rate and the primary artist/label will gain the benefits of the streams and the future value of the remix. This means if a remix goes extremely viral in the rare case, remixers will rarely see the future value.
Many small artists are happy to take the risk, cash flow at the stage of their careers is necessary and rare. Being tagged along with a bigger artist is great for digital streaming platform profiling and being released by a major label is also rewarding.
It's important to note that in an ideal situation, the smaller artist would not need to instantly sell over their hard work remixing for a single small fee. Remixer's deserve to own or partially own the master of the remix so that in the chance it's extremely successful, they reap the benefits of their hard work. Medasin would have earned much more than $150 if the offer was on the table.