Why Beatport Isn’t Paying Up


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.



Jim Allen

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