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
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.
Obviously 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…..