I think anyone who’s interested in the EDM scene knows the giant that is Beatport. It’s perhaps the largest online music store within the electronic community and boasts some very impressive numbers (both member and sale wise). Located in Denver, Colorado, Beatport is the main reason the EDM scene is so dominant in that area. You have this huge business smack dab in a state where everything is tranquil, beautiful, and chilled out. So naturally it’s no surprise that some of the best electronic music events are held in that state sponsored by Beatport.
So let’s get down to business. As a new member on the site you’re allowed 10 free downloads after signing up for your first account. I found the sign-up process to be rather smooth and easy with no major hassles and hang ups. However, there have been some complaints in regards to using a credit card on the site. I highly recommend everyone to use a prepaid visa card when purchasing anything online due to the fact that these cards aren’t heavily guarded and you’ll experience less interference when processing. Sometimes banks are overcautious and will deny online payments due to fraud suspicion. And yet…sometimes people just don’t have enough cash to cover the balance.
The overall layout of the site is pretty basic and pleasing to the eye. You have tabs and rollovers for just about every subject or advertisement and a decent sized music player at the top of the page. Unlike most online music stores, you get a pretty broad search area to choose from. You can basically go by artist name, genre, label, remixer, dj, charts, etc. until you find the style or person or song you’re looking for. Since Beatport is generous with music samples, you can get a pretty fair idea of what most tracks sound like before you buy. And if you just so happen to stumble upon a great track…you have the opportunity to add it to your “favorites” tab.
Most people tend to stake out the bad within Beatport since it is a larger company. The complaints are usually the mp3 prices, the overabundance of house music, the label/beatport split, and inflated charts. So let’s address these complaints shall me. The mp3 prices are justified at 1.49-2.49 because the tracks can be downloaded over and over again forever and their DRM free. This means you can burn the track onto a CD and play it anywhere…but it is illegal to give away or sale the CD to anyone you know. As far as the overabundance of house goes…it’s pretty thick on Beatport. In fact, there isn’t a time when I don’t see house music in the top spots. However, I believe that to be a fad problem as House music is in and vocal trance is down. Dubstep is also in high demand right now so I wouldn’t be surprised if Skrillex topped the charts once again.
I can honestly say that charts do get inflated by labels from time to time. Some tracks aren’t even remotely interesting and they suddenly become #1 overnight. I understand getting fan support helps but certain bigger labels have the ability to buy their own tracks to secure top slots for marketing purposes. This leaves smaller labels struggling and therefore keeps the balance of power skewed. However, all labels get a fair level in terms of splitting profits. Beatport takes a 50/50 split leaving the label its equal share of the profits. All in all I don’t think these are major concerns for anyone interested in doing business with Beatport.
So in general I find Beatport to be a good place to buy electronic music. It’s pretty straight forward with some great tunes and awesome customer service. I haven’t had any major problems with them these last few years and I find their charts to be interesting at times. If I had to give them a proper rating I’d chose 4.0/5.0 simply because I feel like there are too many larger names being thrown around too often. I feel like Deadmau5, Guetta, and Tiesto shouldn’t be the faces of EDM music ALL THE TIME. It’s a full genre that deserves more names being dropped.