Beatport is not making a lot of friends in the electronic music community at the moment, especially among independent labels and the artists they represent. In fact, one might even go so far as to say that the global music platform — which for years has been an online one-stop-shop for dance music in all its manifold variations — is being kind of a dick. The company has apparently informed the many labels with which it does business that it won’t be paying them any owed royalties from the last three months until the process of “going private” has been completed by parent company SFX Entertainment.
It’s been reported that a number of labels depend on Beatport sales for up to 90 percent of their profits, so for indie outfits working on a hand-to-mouth basis, this could be a crushing blow. To make matters worse, Beatport hasn’t exactly been endearing itself to artists on an individual basis lately either.
In a move that may be connected to a recent exclusive-content deal they’ve made with Spotify (obviously no great friend of artists either), Beatport has announced that they’ll also be offering a monetized Soundcloud-like function whereby DIY artists can upload and sell their music. The catch? For their troubles, Beatport is demanding 90 percent of streaming income (80 percent for downloads) plus all rights to the music.
Denver-based Music-download site Beatport has been sold to concert promoter SFX for a little over $50 million. Beatport head Matthew Adell, CEO of Beatport, confirmed the sale and told the New York Times that joining forces with SFX would help the company expand into live events as well as internationally in markets such as Brazil and India. “We already are by far the largest online destination of qualified fans and talent in the market,” he said, “and we can continue to grow that.”
Buying Beatport has allowed SFX to add nearly 40 million subscribers to its audience, and the deal is part of SFX’s strategy to the dominant major player in EDM, an industry the Times says is worth $1 billion annually. Earlier in the year SFX bought Voodoo Experience and ID&T (Dutch producers of Tomorrowland, Sensation and Mysteryland). In 2012, the company purchased Dayglow Productions, Disco Donnie Presents and are reportedly negotiating to buy Insomniac Events, the producer of Electric Daisy Carnival and Nocturnal Wonderland.
DJ Shadow knows that when life hands you lemons you make lemonade. After being asked by promoters to leave the decks during a DJ set at Mansion nightclub in South Beach, Miami earlier this month because he wasn’t playing commercial enough music, the influential Cali-based instrumental hip-hop DJ/producer will make good on his promise to make the infamous set during his All Bases Covered tour available to the public. On December 30 the set he played at Mansion will be made available on Beatport and is “a full, live recording of the entire set, which was notoriously halted for being ‘too hard.’” Shadow has since received a full apology from Mansion, but only after the club and its promoters encountered an onslaught of bad press and negativity from outraged fans. Shadow’s All Bases Covered tour resumes on December 29 at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.