As first revealed on Digital DJ Tips last year, Beatport has transformed itself into a Spotify-like free music streaming service and online community for dance music. The beta went live yesterday, with the “old” Beatport online store being rebranded as Beatport Pro, and moving to a different web address.
The new Beatport is ad supported and free to the end user, and as well as being a dance music streaming service, carries festival news, and has social features like curated playlists and charts for community members.
The first dance music-based streaming service
Music streaming is fast becoming the outlet of choice for mainstream music consumption, and Beatport owner SFX, which also happens to own festival brands Tomorrowland, Electric Zoo and Stereosonic, knows this. By creating two services – a free one for music fans, and a paid-for portal for DJs – SFX is seemingly making a play to corner the electronic dance music market, live and recorded, and gathering masses of data on both DJs and consumers of dance music in the process to aid its quest.
While other services like Pandora, Deezer, and Spotify have been first to market in streaming, none has chosen to aim specifically at the sometimes exclusive dance music content that Beatport’s enormous library is able to provide. The relatively small niche it services on inception in 2004 has exploded into gargantuan proportions 11 years later, so call it brilliant foresight or plain old luck, there’s no denying that Beatport has played an excellent game of chess in positioning itself as the online go-to destination for electronic dance music.
Whether the streaming service will impact the store or not, it seems that Beatport is keener on attracting new folks into its ecosystem (ie casual / mainstream listeners) and isn’t too worried about its current base of DJs and producers switching over to the free stuff in lieu of paid downloads: After all, us DJs still generally need to download music in order to DJ with it. But it does raise the question as to whether we’ll see Beatport baked into either Traktor or Serato DJ (or both!) in the near future, the way djay works with Spotify; it would seem a natural fit,.
Or, will Beatport Pro offer a subscription model akin to a record pool that would be more cost effective than paying for individual songs (it was tried by Pulselocker a couple of years back)? Or even, will we see Beatport release its own DJ software with the store and streaming service baked in? Will Beatport as a streaming service even survive against established competition that is more mainstream but also serves dance fans well enough already? Only time will tell…
• Beatport is currently on public beta. Sign up for the waitlist over at the Beatport website.
What do you think about Beatport’s transition to streaming? Do you think we’ll be seeing Beatport integration in our DJ platforms of choice soon? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the section below.