In the EDM world, the relationship begins when an artist/DJ goes to a ghost
production platform, finds a track or song they like and pays a one-time fee for the
rights to it. From then on, the artist can use the song as their own and all
streaming/performing income goes to them.
Ghost production rarely happens in the pop industry, but it’s actually an established
part of the EDM scene. DJs often use ghost production to keep up with fans’
demand for new material. However, fans expect a DJ to produce their own music themselves.
There is a great deal of stigma around ghost production and it doesn’t look
like it’s going anytime soon. So, for a successful business relationship, no-one must reveal
the identity of the actual producer.
During the ‘EDM boom’ of 2010-2015, ghost production came to the fore due to the
leaking of a contract between ghost producer Maarten Vorwerk and Belgium DJ-duo Dimitri Vegas
& Like Mike. The ghost-produced ‘Tsunami’ got to number one in multiple
dance charts and was the most played track at numerous clubs and festivals. Since then, fans
started to dig deeper into the credits of tracks to see if artists were fully
responsible for their own tunes, or had used ghost production.
It’s almost impossible to find out who exactly was responsible for a tune, since tight
contracts with ghost producers don’t allow them to tell anyone of their being involved.
And in the years following ‘Tsunami’, ghost production has slowly gained a degree
of acceptance. Fans seem to be less interested in production credits as they
are in consuming as much content as possible: it’s more important that artists have
new releases every week or month.
helps to supply the
demand for new tunes.