The Black Madonna details EDM’s demise: ‘Beatport’s increasing demands for exclusivity were crushing them’
As SFX’s increasingly imminent downfall approaches, both industry leaders and fans alike have been quick to comment on the state of dance music and where its future may lie. The latest to speak up was house and techno producer The Black Madonna, who penned an op-ed surrounding the demise of EDM and, more specifically, Beatport.
The online music store – which years ago made its mark on discovering and purchasing dance music – has faced a string of obstacles as of late. In August, Beatport faced heat as it temporarily halted royalty payments during SFX’s attempt at privatization, abandoning smaller artists who were not affiliated with a major label.
The Black Madonna tells the optimistic story of what Beatport once was before the rise of the digital age: “the most important ally [the vinyl industry] had in the fight to survive.” Citing its staff as selfless and “a dedicated, passionate band of people who believed in dance music and embraced technology,” she recognizes that Beatport was once the answer to dance music’s woes. Key word: was.
The platform took a turn for the worse in 2009 following a panel at WMC, in which she and Shawn Sabo, Beatport’s VP of Marketing, discussed “The Future of Digital Music.” Evidently, 2009 signaled the beginning of the end for Beatport, as its “increasing demands for exclusivity were crushing them.” SFX’s acquisition of the online music store, The Black Madonna suggests, only further beat it to the ground. She and her colleagues fearfully awaited the day that Beatport would send out the “unsympathetic” email that eventually hit inboxes across the globe, for years. That day finally arrived on August 5th.
“I don’t know what will happen to Beatport. I am sure that for all its problems, the vast majority of people that work there are kind, thoughtful and good,” she writes. I am sure they’re just trying to do what a lot of us are trying to do, which is find our bliss working with dance music. But when I think about those early years, I can’t help but feel foolish. My childish, absolute faith in the futurist promise of techno and fear for the security of myself and the labels we represented, blinded me to the potential pitfalls that could come with it.”
Read the full op-ed here.
Photo courtesy of Fact Mag