Several sources posted and confirmed that worldwide leading MP3 platform for EDM Beatport has shut down the San Francisco office and laid off the complete engineering team based there. Beatport also laid off about twenty employees at the headquarter in Denver. A part of the laid off staff worked at the company for 10 years.
While this is hard news for the people involved, it comes right after Beatport’s reports of generating a loss of $1 million during the third quarter of 2013. So SFX, the new company behind Beatport, seems to cut teams and departments that are not profitable to streamline the platform. Here’s the official statement of SFX:
“With the additional resources provided by SFX, we are making significant new investments in Beatport and focusing on providing the best possible experience for our users – the DJ, the producer, the labels and the entire Electronic Music Culture community. To allow us to adapt and improve our service, it was necessary to make some organizational changes. We have closed our San Francisco office, reorganized our engineering team, and cut some positions in Denver. Beatport has always been about innovation and connection and these moves allow us to focus on that. With the recently announced acquisitions of PayLogic and Arc90, this refocus on maximizing Beatport as the definitive site for everything related to Electronic Music is indicative of our commitment to igniting the simmering Revolution of this astounding movement, Electronic Music Culture. We look forward to unveiling a number of exciting new technology initiatives in 2014.”
Billboard magazine now sat down with Tim Crowhurst, the president of SFX, to discuss the latest developments and the influence that one company, SFX, has on an entire culture. Crowhurst is defending the cuts as follows:
“This shift is more about product vision than it is cost savings,” Crowhurst says. “We’ve got a pretty exciting roadmap that will leverage some of the best technology out there to essentially create a new future for this industry.”
“We’re making it more of a product-focused company as opposed to an engineering company,” he says. “We’re very focused on creating end-products that the community and all of our constituencies are going to love.”
“We see a really massive opportunity in this space to fill,” he said. “It’s a widely fragmented industry in terms of where people get their news and information, where they discover content, where they listen to content, where they discover events and where they buy tickets. Our vision is to create a much more cohesive experience for the fan and every piece here has a significant role to play.”
It’s unclear for me to see if this will improve the company or will be the start of a downward spiral. But one thing is clear: this is the effect of the commercialization of a culture. It’s a phenomenon that Europeans got used to over the past 30 years of electronic Dance music, but not in this scale! What do you think will happen?