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Dance music giant Beatport sold for $50 million

Beatport – the digital download site aimed primarily at DJ’s that was at the forefront of the digital sales revolution has been sold for $50 million.

While end users were always open to evolving listening methods – from tapes to CD’s to mp3’s, the DJ market was a very different story when Beatport arrived on the scene. Vinyl was sacrosanct within DJing – the touch, the feel, the scratchability, the sound quality and the iconic symbolism cut into its grooves made it a deeply loved and profoundly valued format.

Beatport was a purely digital dance music shop that in time would help change the face of DJing alongside other major digital sites and the changing face of both production and DJing technology. The filters inherent within expensive studios and high pressing costs for vinyl were stripped away and digital production became both democratised and saturated in equal, intertwined measure as huge volumes of music poured onto their catalogue.

With thousands of new releases flooding the site – an embarrassment of choice (if not necessarily riches) had the knock on effect of making their genre specific charts hugely influential. With people unwilling to wade through thousands of new releases – they would one stop shop on the Beatport top 100 – leading in some cases to labels buying their own tracks for the first week, getting them into the charts, and watching them become a self fulfilling prophecy.

Today, with vinyl very much a niche and ‘limited edition’ market, Beatport is the world’s largest specialist music shop, and with the ‘EDM’ craze sweeping youth culture in America in the same way rock music once did, it was an obvious target for corporate consolidation.

The buyer is SFX Entertainment, the company led by the media executive Robert F. X. Sillerman, who is planning to build a $1 billion empire out of the new global enthusiasm for all things EDM. Sillerman has form in the empire building department, having built a huge concert promotion network that is now part of Live Nation.

Matthew Adell, Beatport’s chief executive, said that being part of SFX could help the company extend its business into live events, and also into countries where the dance genre is exploding, like India and Brazil.

Beatport has long had a penchant for brand building activities – including news feeds, remix contests and D.J. profiles. It is clearly trying to expand beyond being just an online record shop and grow into – sick bags at the ready please readers – an ‘EDM lifestyle choice’ Bleeuurrrgghhhh.

Written by Cyrus Bozorgmehr - Google+ Profile - More articles by Cyrus Bozorgmehr

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