Beatport has been up for sale since February of this year, and finally the hearings that will determine the buyer take place later this week. Twelve years after the digital-download store was firmly established, the online platform for electronic music is about to find out what the future holds – read on for some background knowledge on the company and the sale process.
SFX has been accepting bids for Beatport since earlier this year
The sale hearing is later this week (May 5th)
Over 24 buyers have expressed at least intial interest in the sale
Beatport was worth $39.1 million last year
Beatport Sale Background
After a brief, tumultuous history with SFX, Beatport and its associated assets have been up for grabs since February this year. A motion was filed in the US bankruptcy court of Delaware detailing the cause and process of the resulting sale, outlining the history of SFX’s involvement and as to what can be purchased during this period of acquisition. As to who will buy the company, musically wrote the following:
“SFX had interest from 24 potential buyers, with 18 of them executing nondisclosure agreements to perform due diligence, and three submitting preliminary indications of interest.”
The sale hearing will be held on May 5th, and more news about the store’s future will be reported on and updated as, and when the news comes in. As of yet it’s only possible to speculate about whom the bidders are, how much it will be sold for and what will happen to the platform. Speaking to createdigitalmusic earlier this year, commenting on who the bidders are, Beatport responded as such:
“We’ve been contacted by, and are in discussions with, numerous companies interested in Beatport’s complete platform (store, streaming, video, etc.). The level of interest speaks directly to the value of Beatport and makes the chances of not finding a buyer highly unlikely.”
Is There Really Value In Beatport’s Assets?
With the all the naysayers, and market doubters out there, DJTT will stick our head out to give you a marked opinion. As a market leader, Beatport was still worth $39.1 (million) in 2015 with 5 million registered users on the books – in comparison, Spotify had 20 million paying subscribers at the same point last year. Beatport also has 43,000 content suppliers –in the form of independent and major label relations, a consequence of its years of content acquisition processes and product exclusivity hunting.
Even with the likes of Traxsource stealing some of the store’s market dominance, it is still clear to those DJing with MP3s and other such formats, Beatport is still an important outlet for the majority of the DJ community. Since 2004, Beatport adapted to several disruptive factors; the rise of digital DJing, the growth of supply and the introduction of streaming, and as such, it has the capacity as an organization to adapt to a multitude of future-shocks.
Now, with new ownership on the horizon, the company has the potential to allow new ownership and investment to redefine and reset its model-template, as it is unlikely that anyone would want to purchase the firm for any untoward reasoning. Although downsizing may be a possibility, change is coming, and it might be an overall good thing for the customer.
Stay tuned to DJTT this week as we’ll cover the news from the sale hearing and any additional updates – here’s hoping that at the end of the day, DJs benefit from this potentially major shakeup in the industry.
What will the next wave of invention in music technology look like? Will it follow a narrow course of iteration – a new interface, a new synthesis technique? Or will the next leaps come from networks of ideas, from what happens when different disciplines and cultures collide, when music technology turns to the broader matters of how music is made and how it impacts people?
I rather believe in the latter. And that could be why Berlin is the place where so often people gather to work out the next big thing. There’s no single music research center, no formal lab (private or academic) that stands out. But this is the stage on which wall come down and people collaborate.
And that could make the end of May in Berlin very important indeed. Because in a year full of big music tech events here, the end of May might be the broadest in scope – and the most collaborative. It’s the tenth edition of Music Tech Fest, which has in a short time already been from London to Slovenia to New Zealand to America and then some. But this one has the most multi-layered program yet.
A week of laboratories and cooperative investigations leads to an extended weekend that has so much going on, that it’s a little hard to describe. Conversations go like this. “Hey, have you heard about MTF?” “What?” “Well, it’s a huge … um … music … thing. Like a … music and tech … sort of festival something.”
If you missed the Superbooth, this returns to the beautiful DDR-era Funkhaus, whose sprawling studios and halls provide an ample village full of nerd havens. And it’s really at its heart three things:
It’s a lab. Laboratories and hackathons and trackathons and jams mean a chance to make new stuff, technological and musical both.
It’s a conference and fair. Talks and meet-ups and showcases cover everything from startups and manufacturers to deep research and ideas.
It’s a festival. Artists rare and famed are premiering new music and producing new experiments that culminate in a series of performances that stretch late into the night (hence the “lates” track).
This video gives you a taste of what emerges – in all its blinky, shiny glory.
And all of this produces a scene in which Berlin can be hub to what’s happening Europe-wide (and globally) as far as supporting a technological ecosystem driven by music. Given that music has had a roll in helping computers sing for the first time and understanding how to make computer interaction function, that’s a very big deal.
Some underlying threads:
Transhumanism. Music can help people to expand who they are as humans – especially powerful for people who are differently abled. Our own event includes an amputee pop star who has extended herself beyond being an amputee. We also look at extensions of the body through senses and wearable technology.
Self-sustainability. DIY is everywhere, from junkyard-assembled instruments to giving kids the tools they need to make their own instruments – all with a “gunk” or geek punk aesthetic. Beyond just interesting one-off projects, that extends to systematic efforts to make open blocks on which other research can build, including the #MusicBricks program which binds together European research and innovation.
Social transformation. There’s also strong support for examining how music is interwoven with society – and new ideas about how music is spread, particularly with an extended lab investigating the use of the Blockchain to give musicians more power over how their music is shared. (Imogen Heap, who has championed that idea, will be on hand to introduce this.)
Some artists you can expect to meet:
Emika, with exclusive premiere of Symphony No. 1 and a discussion of her process
Matt Black, co-founder of NinjaTune and Coldcut, with his new “ICH BIN”
Graham Massey of 808 State (yes, that one!)
Grave Savage (beatboxing champion, whom ELLE dubbed one of the 100 most inspiring women in the world)
Martin Molin, the guy who made that musical marble machine you’ve probably seen
Mercury prize winner ESKA
TOA Mata Band, who built a band out of LEGO…
…and the list goes on from there.
ESKA photo by Jaroslav Moravec.
Emika, who is not only performing but inviting us into her studio process.
Graham Dunning; photo by Julien Kerduff.
Groups like DRAKE music will focus on disability and music tech… but there’s also Blamis a musical Minecraft mod. (You can see why this is hard to sum up.)
You can join a marathon production session, here in the world’s largest music recording facility (thanks, Communism!) – but you can also go to a networking session with leading industry investors and innovators. (Thanks, Capitalism?)
And the programming tracks:
#MTFLabs are collaboration-driven laboratories producing new inventions on-site. You can witness the results of a performance lab (which I’m leading along with Jasmine Isdrake), a group of people tackling the blockchain and sharing, a vocal lab, and an audience hacking mobile track run by IRCAM.
#MTFStage combines performance, show-and-tell, and hands-on workshop, on all manner of themes from androids to wearable tech and fashion and body extension to junkyard machines and Emika’s own crowd-funded symphony.
#MTFAmplifier connects industry, investors, startups, and more.
#MTFSoundpit is a science fair – slash – convention floor of tech inventions like startups and interactive dance floors and so on.
#MTFSpace fills the rest of the halls with immersive experiments and a data-driven cassette store and interactive installations.
#MTFLates are mobbed performance evenings in the halls of MTF. I kind of think we aren’t sleeping. (The artist lineup above is a tiny, tiny taste – there’s more.)
The hackathons and trackathons for kids and adults are already full up, but you can check out the results, and there’s an open jam plus loads of opportunities to learn and interact.
Finally, following the long weekend, there are Europe-wide conferences on research (neuroscientists to composers) and on Internet-of-Things innovation (from startups to Siemens). That helps cement Berlin’s role as the European musical capitol, yet again.
And of course, I hope to share specifically what we’re working on. We’re entering the absorption chamber, a massive empty concrete space around the concert halls built as an acoustical experiment, where we’ll create a series of immersive performance experiments involving dance, fashion, light, sound, music, and play.
Incroyable Music hits release number 12 in real style with an EP of two tight originals from German pair Dopish; and completing the fine package are remixes from Fennec & Wolf and Soukie & Windish.
Berlin-based duo and URSL label owners, Soukie & Windish, provide a stunning remix — proving why they are in such high demand at places like Wild Renate. The track builds slowly and surely with a wonky bass line and creepy pads before the twinkling melodies add to the hypnotic effect of the groove.
Vibe Quest is the debut solo album from long-time DJ and producer Sabo. More than three years in the making, the record represents the artist’s own personal journey, navigating the egos and politics of the music business while searching for positive vibes, open-minded audiences, and musical experiences that transcend a typical night out.
Vibe Quest is out May 2, 2106 on Sabo’s own label, Sol Selectas.
As a gift, Sabo is graciously giving away one track from the album, “Fantastico”, which coincidentally is our favorite track on the LP.
Sabo – Fantastico (Original Mix)
* CLICK HERE if you do not see the SoundCloud player.
Dj and Producer William Sabatini, aka Sabo, is a staple in the global dance music community. Heavily influenced by a multitude of cultures from around the world, Sabo’s sound holds much of his intrigue. Sabo’s productions take you along a journey into sound, a sonic landscape that crosses several musical borders with mixtures of tropical poly-rhythms, warm bass frequencies, rich percussion, lush tribal vocals, and smooth organic textures. When listening you will undoubtedly find yourself resonating with his intention, imagining yourself dancing in an Amazon rainforest or on a desert plane for a Saharan sunrise. Behind the decks, his innovative approach to each DJ set makes him a consistent stand out at Festivals like Coachella, Lightening in a Bottle, Shambhala, Fusion, Symbiosis, Desert Hearts, Further Future, and Burning Man’s Robot Heart bus. As a label boss, he is known for his dynamic vision – heading up his imprint label “Sol*Selectas” which successfully re-defining a new vein of dance music. The label captures a wide array of sounds, enlisting up and coming underground producers from all over the globe, as well as prominent well known producers in the industry, focusing the sound on deep spiritual dance music, guiding its listeners into the future realm with positive intention.
New Mexico born and raised DJ, producer and promoter, J.Bowra, has been infusing the desert with house and techno for over a decade. J.Bowra’s love for Albuquerque is major; he influences the growing scene in more ways than one. Besides his monthly residency, DOWNLOW, J has shared the stage with numerous high profile artists such as Green Velvet, Claude VonStroke, Marco Carola, Umek, Funkagenda and J.Phlip.
J.Bowra has a bright present and an even brighter future! We’re very excited to add him to our Hometown Heroes roster.
* CLICK HERE if you do not see the SoundCloud player.
Track List: Prince – Intro
Sidney Charles – Paraswing
Harvard Bass – Lose My Mind
Sacha Robotti, kevin Knapp – Stay With It
DJ T feat Joe le Groove – Feeling You
Carlo Lio – A Beautiful Nightmare -
Acid Bitchez – Thinking About Acid(Joeski Remix)
Richy Ahmed – Ruff & Raw
Friend Within – Move Me
Kid Enigma – On The Ropes(Derrick Carter Club Edit)
Sage Armstrong – Magic City
Mak & Pasteman – Call 2 Me
Danny Daze – Miami
Jean Nipon – Black Things On Desk
Addison Groove – Allaby
J.Phlip & Grizzl – BAKUPGRL
S.A.S – Give It To You
Connect with J.Bowra: Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter
Interview with J.Bowra
How did you get into in dance music and Djing? Is there a specific moment of inspiration you can remember? I first got inspired to DJ from watching videos of DMC competitions, I wanted to be a turntablist, I was around 15 so I got a job saved up some money and bought my first pair of Numark Turntables. Soon after I started to go to raves and DJ at small house parties. Soon after that it was clear that making people dance was what I wanted to do
Tell us about the scene in NM. How is it unique and what sets it apart? It’s more of a community and a family than it is a scene. In my opinion, it has been really cool to see how much it has grown. So many more people are interested in dance music and it has made the promoters step it up and quality of events have never been better. I mean there’s two festival style events happening here this summer so that is big! Basically New Mexico is dope and I’m proud to live and play music here.
Who are some of your biggest influences? My Family, Friends, and the City of Detroit.
Any projects or events planned for 2016 we should know about? There is a lot of awesome things going on this summer. I’m hyped to play at the El Rey Theater in few weeks playing a special B2B with my friend Ana M for Claude Vonstroke, the Digital Desert Campout in June which is a 4 day festival under the NM Stars, my monthly DOWNLOW night at Effex Nightclub, and my new fun low key thing is DJing under an alias playing no Techno or House.
Top 5 tracks at the moment? The Martinez Brothers Feat Miss Killen – Stuff In The Trunk
Sage Armstrong, Bot – Diamond Rangs
Friend Within – Move Me
E Boi – Samba de Coco Raizes de Arcoverde (Maga Bo remix)
Drake – Still Here
Most memorable gig and dream gig? Most memorable would be when I opened the night up for Marco Carola and Carl Cox in El Paso, Halloween 2011. My dream gig is being able to play Aaliyah and Jeff Mills in the same set at a warehouse at 4am.
Tell us about your mix… It’s House, It’s Techno, It’s Ghetto
Drink of choice… You mean Drinks? It is always Tequila but Gin Pineapple is good, also a big fan of water.
Last month we premiered the title track to Stimming’s new organically recorded and produced Alpe Lusia, which came out on Diynamic on the 29th of April. Adding to the official release of the album now comes a behind the scenes look at how the LP was created track by track. Written and shot by Stimming himself, the below text and images briefly guide us through his thought- and execution process of Alpe Lusia’s music.
“This was the view I had nearly every morning. A new day, fresh cold air, morning dew on the grass, cows and their bells already active. This is probably what I miss the most from that time coming out the wooden cabin and having that beautiful view with the dolomites in the background every morning.”
“The first track I made during my time in the Alps. It was more of a setup test but developed into a dry and (at least for my standards) high energetic tech-house tune. At first hand it was somehow difficult to connect to the beautiful environment in a musical way. But on the third day (the second was a sunday which I used to explore my surrounding) I was already raving on the wooden bench which, at the end of my time, surely squeaked more than when I arrived.”
“Trains Of Hope”
“The internet was very slow (loading a usual news site took me about 5 min) but I used my phone as a reader to which a weekly newspaper (“Die Zeit”) is being sent automatically. Actually I enjoy reading news this way because a weekly period gives journalists a lot more time to go into depth.
Anyway just after I left Germany the big wave of refugees reached Europe and suddenly it was all over the news. As one of very few European countries, German people acted very welcoming and I remember having tears in my eyes because it was really the first time I was proud of the country I live in. In one euphoric article it was written that trains of hope are reaching Germany and 70 years ago they left Germany for a different reason. Let me at least say this was a very strong statement which kind of stuck in my head.
But as if I would have guessed, I also recorded the sound of thunder and put it in the track: half a year later, first euphoria turned into suspicion. During the first two weeks there was a lot of thunder and lightning.”
This track was a field recording experiment which went right. A friend of mine asked me to go out at night to an area in hamburg which, due to its daily business purpose, is nearly empty of humans after working hours, perfect for recording sounds. We recorded sound files in a long tunnel and other places to finally stumble across this parking ramp which, luckily, was sound-tweaked in about a third of its space.
I carried my beloved OP1, a portable speaker and a portable recorder with two Neumann mics. We placed the mics onto the stand and I walked around with the OP1 playing a percussion line, one which I played a lot during my last livesets.
“22 Degree Halo”
“A 22° Halo is an optical phenomenon which appears when the sky is covered by thin cirrusor cirrostratus clouds around the moon or the sun. I saw this phenomenon during BPM festival 2014 when DJ Phono, Kollektiv Turmstrasse and me were having a good talk on the beach during a calm night. the sky was a little foggy and when I looked up the moon there was a halo suddenly opening around it. we wouldn’t have been surprised if a UFO appeared and landed.
With this track I wanted to express this feeling of something beautiful happening unexpectedly.
The choir is a 24-person ensemble from Prague.”
“For My Better Half”
Being alone for one month at 1900m above sea level (approx 6300 feet) was, of course, not easy during the whole time. Especially when the weather was grey it was very depressing. I was used to that amazing view but while being in the clouds (which you usually are in that height during bad weather) the sight was gone completely. I also missed my wife a lot so I decided to finally finish the track I always wanted to do for her.
The idea was in my audio workstation for 2 years but it never left that state which you hear at the very end of the track a chord progression played by a wrecked Rhodes piano.
Up there in my cabin I finally had the time and the patience to cut it into eigths and play around with it. finally it worked.
“[..] especially on this track at one point I realised the need to finish it fast because i was afraid of losing my mind”
In this track you hear Guilhem Desq, a hurdy gurdy player from France. Pete from Diynamic saw a video of his on youtube and sent it over to me because he knew this will catch my interest. It did, so I contacted Guilhem and sent him a sketch I already had in my drawer. He came back with very inspiring ideas and pieces so I decided to finish it in my cabin. Somehow the hurdy gurdy needed to be placed in a cold environment.
Each and every emotional aspect of all album tracks was heavily experienced by myself. I was very emotional a lot because of happiness, because of being alone, missing my wife, being melancholic and I allowed every feeling to come in simply because I was alone. To some extent I was in an artificial manic state of mind (which I’m not in my normal life, thank god) and especially on this track at one point I realised the need to finish it fast because I was afraid of losing my mind.
“Tanz Fuer Drei”
This track was made in my studio in Hamburg shortly after I came back. I was deeply impressed and still had mountain taste on my tongue. It’s my personal favourite on the album, piano and harmonium slowly finding themselves glued together by another OP1 percussion track recorded in the basement below my studio.
This was the last but one tune I made up there. Imagine three weeks of intense working, around 10h a day except sundays, going through depths and highs and finally finishing a track that always wanted to be finished for a couple of years. the track idea was there for such a long time and finally I was able to successfully complete it (afterwards I still needed to shorten it a couple of times and the mix also wasn’t that great), but I was very, very happy. the Budapest scoring orchestra played the main theme and I cut and tweaked a lot to make it fit. Actually it felt like I reached the height of my art for 2015 and I’m ready to go on with the next steps in my life. This is how I look like when I’m really satisfied.
As the name giving track you might expect something visually spectacular. I think that the visual sense in general is overrated. Near the end I visited my ‘guardian mountain’ again to listen to my work. I climbed up as long as I felt safe (and if you look at the tree’s angle you can see it’s pretty steep) and had a listen on my in-ears. it was grey and cold so I had to dance on a little mountain ledge to keep me warm in about 2300m above sea level (6900feet). The journey I had made with this album finally felt complete.