Beatport has unveiled a new service called Mixes, which offers DJs a way to legally upload and sell their own mixes.
As outlined in this article on DJ Tech Tools, the service works like this: the DJ makes a mix using songs he or she bought on Beatport, uploads the mix, then manually builds a tracklist from his or her purchase history. The mix will then be available on Beatport for $5.00 / 5.29 Euros. Where this money goes is part of what makes the service interesting: 10% to the DJ, 60% to the labels whose music is included in the mix, and 30% to performing rights organizations, or PROs (BMI, ASCAP, GEMA, etc.).
“We’re not going to make a lot of money off of this,” says Beatport CTO Peter Siciliano. “This is ‘Let’s find out what it actually takes and what the cost is to do a legal mix, and then carve out the space however it makes sense.’”
There are a few benefits to this model. First of all, the fact that labels get royalties from the sale of the mixes, something that’s made possible by Beatport’s pre-existing relationships with so many record labels. Secondly, that the DJs themselves gets to pocket a bit of cash. And though surely less compelling to many DJs, the fact that Beatport takes care of the PROs is significant, as it gives the mix 100% legality, eliminating the possibility of a take-down notice. That possibility might seem far fetched to some, but it’s in the PROs’ interest to stop mixes from being distributed for free online, and Beatport expects them to do so someday soon. “It’s possible PROs will never crack down on anybody else and we will always have free mixes forever, but I don’t see that being the true future,” says Siciliano.
DJ Tech Tools points out a few drawbacks to Mixes, most importantly that it forces DJs to rely almost exclusively on songs purchased on Beatport. While it is possible to include other tracks, they won’t be represented in the tracklist, and of course the relevant label won’t get any royalties. Additionally, DJ Tech Tools found that even some Beatport tracks aren’t eligible for use in Mixes at this point.
Mixes is currently in an invite-only beta stage, but you can find out more about it on the official homepage.