If you're an EDM dj wanting to move up in the ranks some people say your best bet is to chart high on Beatport. And one way to chart high if nobody knows who you are is to work with a third party that coordinates groups of individuals buying your music multiple times. Apparently the growth of such third party services is getting some attention in dj circles and Beatport has officially warned djs away from such maneuvers.
Earlier this year Brett Edgerly at Your EDM expressed surprise at a job posting for people to buy music and game Beatport charts:
"I’ll be honest, this sort of thing is new to me...It’s sickening."
But perhaps the whole post was written in his role as "Head of Sarcasm."
On May 1 Kid Kenobi shared his response to being contacted by a track buying service. As he noted:
"The really sad thing tho is that it worksa and it robs a lot of genuine artists of the spotlight they deserve. So frustrating!"
However he told inthemix:
"“I’ve heard [this] happens but it hasn’t been a big issue for a lot of producers yet as far as I know...I have seen it for other things like Facebook likes and Soundcloud plays… It does frustrate me as an artist and as a label manager as I see time and time again super talented artists not getting the recognition they deserve while other artists with less talent become mega popular often via short cuts like this."
Look if people can make money off charting on Beatport and Beatport charts can be gamed they will be gamed. If I can find people, which I have, who work in the industry and can casually point to multiple artists who have achieved high visibility in EDM this way it's not a new or secret thing.
inthemix contacted one such service to get the details on what it costs to game Beatport. If the numbers are accurate, a few thousand to get a top 30 listing in the Beatport Top 100, it should be no surprise that people are using such services.
So it makes sense that Beatport is responding to the issue. It's unclear if it was spurred by Kid Kenobi but it's something they'd have to address sooner or later especially given the outsize aspirations of Beatport owner SFX Entertainment.
Beatport claims "chart-boosting rarely works" and then warns that "you might get caught." If it rarely works then you'll probably get caught so which is it?
Given that this is not actually a new topic yet there haven't been any high profile track removals, one wonders what's really going on behind the scenes.
- New Music APIs Launch From Beatport, Seevl and Equestrian Beats
- "Maximizing Beatport" With A "Bloodbath" Of Layoffs: SFX Entertainment
- One Platform To Connect All Of EDM Culture: SFX Entertainment [SFXE] Gathers Its Forces
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.