The Brooklyn-based startup Legitmix says it wants to create a legal way for remixers to sell their wares — and a $1 million algorithm that the company built is making it happen. As reported by Quartz, the company created an online store to let you buy remixes for $1, with 30 percent going to the company and the rest to the remixer. The twist is that you have to already have the song being remixed on your hard drive — and if you don't, Legitmix directs you to iTunes to purchase the necessary tracks.
What Legitmix actually sells is a file that rebuilds the song on your hard drive to the remixer's instructions. And it's attracting some notable remix artists, including mash-up stars DJ Earworm and the Hood Internet. Most songs on Legitmix cost $2.29 — the cost of an iTunes track, plus $1 for the remix. But artists like Earworm typically incorporate 10 or more songs into their mixes, leading to much higher costs. (His "United States of Pop 2012," which mashes up 25 tracks, costs $32.25.)
A $14 track has sold 700 copies
Nonetheless, the expensive mixes are selling. Earworm's recent "SummerMash," which blends 10 tracks together for $14, has sold more than 700 copies — including 100 at full price, according to Quartz. "In the end, iTunes' success was that it gave people a convenient way to choose between [legitimacy] and piracy," Legitmix founder Omid McDonald told Billboard. "They went for convenience. We have to do the same. Right now everything is obtained in a way that doesn't benefit the remixer or the original artist."