Beatport Shazam – Taking the Fun and Exclusivity out ofDance Music

Shazam Beatport

It’s likely that we all know about Beatport and it’s also likely that we knew about Shazam before Beatport. It has been circulating in the dance music news for the last few days now that the 2 music industry giants are teaming up, which for some is exciting news, but for me, not so much.

I remember when years ago, I was able to dial 2580 on my mobile phone and hold it up to the car stereo speaker and for 50 pence would receive a text telling me what the track was, so long as it was in the database. Admittedly, this was great fun and was an awesome way to discover new tracks, but I soon found myself relegating this technology to the back of my drawer of magic tricks as it often failed, returning no ID.

Enter the Beatport Shazam Deal

With the announcement of their recent ‘marriage” they disclose that the entire Beatport catalogue will be loaded in to Shazam. “Amazing”, I hear you cry! Yes, to some degree this is an excellent progress in technology and will open up an unimaginable amount of track ID’s to the entire world. But for me, it has stolen a small spark of intrigue and underground from the scene.

  • Gone will be the days of talking to like minded clubbers, trying to establish the name of a track
  • Gone is the exclusivity of a DJ’s set –
  • Gone is the term ‘train-spotting’ made famous by Pete Tong’s radio Show on BBC1. Who remember s the jingle (“Are you a trainspotter? Choo choo…”)
  • Gone are the days of talking to the DJ or trying to spy the track name on his turntable, or computer screen. It is a sad day for dance
    music and human interaction.

As a DJ, I like to keep my record collection somewhat exclusive and private. Never, do I swap tracks or hard drives with other DJ’s, my record collection is my record collection, it’s what makes me unique, it’s what makes my sets unique. So with the added ability of anyone now being able to find out a track name without so much as even talking to me, or anyone else, it kinda takes away
that exclusivity.

Surely the Producers are Happy

This may be more of a ‘Wow’moment for producers, it is likely to get their work out in front of more people and therefore increase sales and exposure for them. Is this a good thing or bad? Again, it depends, on if your shooting for fame or underground status.

Remaining Exclusive

Shazam and s4Obviously Beatport and Shazam has done this to increase sales, hoping that people will hear a track they like, Shazam it, then go buy it from Beatport. Yes, this might just work in their favour, but with the added issue of illegal downloads, maybe it won’t. For me, personally, it sort of pushes me away from shopping at Beatport now. I want to remain exclusive, I want the music I play, to be cutting edge, music that no one else has, music that others have a difficult time finding. I spend hours searching for music online and for someone to simply Shazam my set in a second, seems to negate all the hard work spent on scouring for tracks.

Going full Circle

This could turn the music industry full circle. DJ’s may start looking for more vinyl or start using smaller, more obscure labels to source their music. Maybe some labels will turn back to Vinyl in an attempt to remain exclusive and more underground. I know I would enjoy shopping for records again if it meant that less people could get their hands on a track.

What do you think?

Am I blowing this all out of proportion? Is this marriage a good thing? Do you feel exclusivity and the fun of searching for music has be ruined? I would love to know your thoughts on this? Let’s hash this out…..

13 comments

    • Who still wants to dig in the catalogs tracking down proper tracks, if once you play them anyone can? I think authenticity and quality of dj sets will go slightly down.

      • I think you may be right – Perhaps popularity of a track will increase quicker if it is getting more playtime! Which in turn may result in a shorter shelf life of a track!

  1. I agree with Carl. The best way (and probably only way) to have exclusive tracks is to make them yourself. I am looking forward to this intergration…

  2. Another step towards convenience (& to an extent laziness). Beatport will only ever sell whats ‘in store’ & so buying from any of their featured ads, DJ charts etc will always be like buying an outfit from the manikin in a shop window. If ever theres a time to reinvigorate DJs support for vinyl (you can still rip digital versions for use yourself) & independent record stores, its now. Vinyl shopping is still fun.

  3. I would probably use this. I’m moving towards creating clips, beats and segments from existing tracks that I hear and like for use in traktor remix decks. One way to stay exclusive!

    • Yes, mixing up your DJ sets will surely keep it fresh. I can totally see the positive side of being able to find good music to add to your library!

  4. I think it rocks. DJs over hype they’re talent and individuality. Sure it exists but for the majority it doesn’t. You just play other people’s music. That is it. That is all. But there is hope, now DJs who can truly craft their own sets, adding in some production of their own or creating new sounds on the fly will be recognised as true entertainers. Heads up not many people care about DJs, just other DJs and misguided overzealous trend following fans and even they just wanna hear the bangers or popular sets. This will allow people to see behind the mystique of “unique” music or that the dj is making the music that they play. In fact DJs will have to pick their game up if they want to be recognised as professionals or officiandos of music that they claim to be. I’m all up for it. The fact that DJs keep tracks secret is pathetic.

    • Thank you for offering a different perspective John. It is great to discuss these things in an open forum so people can learn more and develop their own way. I am now leaning more towards the fact that the fun is taken out of the ‘hunt’ for a track than being overly concerned about loss of exclusivity. As many have been pointing out, if a track is on beatport it isn’t exclusive. I guess continuing to receive promos ahead if their release is the way DJ’s build hype about a track and stay ahead if the game. Just like the fashion industry.
      Thanks again for your comments.

  5. I sold my djm800 and technics 1200m3d setup about two years ago for some cash in hand and an S4/F1 combo… It really started to kill me looking at all my vinyl just sitting there unplayable so I decided to scrap the midi toys and get the real deal again. Picked up a djm900 and stanton st.150’s. I was so stoked that in the time it took for them to ship to me I had already hunted down a full crate of new or at least new to me records. Literally hit every single record shop in Portland, Or. Moral of the story, is start hunting for vinyl again! It feels and sounds too amazing not to!

  6. Bit late coming in on this one but beatport and serato/traktor has been sending lots of people down the vinyl only route. A lot of small labels have been doing vinyl only for a while with limited pressings. A lot of nights are being marketed as vinyl only. The main focus should be on playing music you (and others love) love…

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