SFX Entertainment have purchased Beatport, confirming rumours that have been flying around the internet for a while. The man behind SFX Entertainment, Robert F. X. Sillerman, has purchased the digital music retailer as part of a plan to build a Dance music empire estimated to be worth a cool $1 billion. SFX Entertainment have already invested in Miami nightlife and U.S. festivals, and have acquired Disco Donnie Presents and Life In Color.
The purchase of Beatport is just another step towards SFX Entertainment’s planned domination in the Dance market. Explaining the buy-out, Robert said: “Beatport gives us direct contact with the DJs and lets us see what’s popular and what’s not. Most important, it gives us a massive platform for everything related to EDM [Electronic Dance Music].”
But is this a good thing for the Dance music industry? In short: yes, more investment and more money is generally a good thing. What will make or break this purchase is how the takeover will be managed and where the extra investment will be going. For the sustainability of the industry, a quick investment for a quick return will not be doing Beatport or EDM any favours. We’ve worked closely with Beatport for many years now I don’t believe this will be the case. We’ve seen them expand from a download store to a multiple platform service with features like Beatport Sounds, Beatport Mixes, and Beatport Play. I am sure more new and exciting features will be heading our way and Beatport will continue to be a driving force in how Dance music is discovered.
So it’s all change at Beatport, arguably the world’s biggest Electronic music download service, and a very important service for us and our labels. But what does it mean for the labels, DJs and artists that rely on the store for support, EDM knowledge and the revenue it brings? In the immediate term nothing will change as Beatport moves into a new phase of its life. But moving forward as SFX Entertainment start to implement its plan I am sure we will see changes — personally I believe for the best. Change is always perceived to be frightening as we look to keep hold of what we already have! But in the digital world change is a daily incurrence as the industry continues to move and evolve at a lighting pace. But what the changes are, only time will tell.
Beatport CEO Matthew Adell said: “We already are by far the largest online destination of qualified fans and talent in the market, and we can continue to grow that.” I think growth is key here — more local currency services available and maybe even territory-specific stores to meet the needs of local territories. Will we see beatport.co.uk, beatport.br, beatport.in and so on. I’m sure emerging Dance music markets such as India and Brazil are high on the agenda as well as how Beatport will look to service those territories.
As the Dance music explosion continues, I am sure there will be more moving parts within the industry — companies being brought, mergers, investments and so on. There will no doubt be some key moves by key players that will take the industry on to new heights. Let’s just hope we can sustain these new ventures and that in turn, artists, DJs, labels, companies and most importantly the consumers all reap the benefits!