Thursday, May 12, 2016

Beatport Suspends Auction and Shuts Down Streaming, News and Events Divisions

Written by Dan Rys — Dramatic changes are in progress at Beatport. Effective Friday, May 13, the company will be shutting down its music and video streaming platforms, its mobile app, its Beatport News section and its Events vertical, according to a statement posted to the company's website. The site will return its focus to the Beatport Store, which has been in operation for 12 years.

"In our effort to be so many different things, we lost focus on bringing the best possible service and capabilities to our most loyal customers."
The announcement comes amid plans for its parent company, dance music promoter SFX Entertainment, to auction off the service it acquired for $50 million in 2013 amid a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Bids for that auction were originally due April 25, but a delay in proceedings extended that date until May 3 with a winner set to be announced May 26. That auction has now been suspended, according to Beatport's statement, though the company plans "to continue considering offers."

“Beatport has made a strategic decision to return to its roots, focusing its efforts on its flagship Beatport Store, the leading global source of electronic music for DJs and consumers," SFX wrote in a statement provided to Billboard. "Going forward, SFX will concentrate its resources and efforts on supporting and enhancing the Beatport Store. We believe that these actions are essential to maintaining the viability of the business while directing resources to serving our core DJ customer base."

The dissolution of those parts of Beatport's functionality also comes with layoffs while SFX installs "a modification to the Beatport management structure." Chris Nicolls, FTI Senior Managing Director and SFX Associate Chief Restructuring Officer, will become interim CEO, with current Beatport president/CEO Greg Consiglio, who was appointed to that role in July 2015 and assisted in the transition before departing the company, according to SFX. "Various positions" at Beatport's offices in the United States and in Europe will be eliminated, the statement reads. A source tells Billboard that as many as 49 Beatport employees have been laid off as part of today's announcement.

"When Beatport was acquired three years ago, part of the vision was to create a broad digital platform for DJs to engage fans of electronic music wherever they may be," Beatport's statement reads. "We have learned through this process however, that in our effort to be so many different things, we lost focus on bringing the best possible service and capabilities to our most loyal customers: the DJ community. As such, we have determined to invest in what is most important to our business and our customers, rather than adding yet another choice to a sea of streaming services."

In 2015, Beatport officially added a streaming service to its portfolio, but the company lost $5.5 million over the course of the year. SFX filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 1 of this year after losing an estimated $18 million in 2015, and was in the process of auctioning Beatport in order to help pay down its debts.

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