With speculation of Apple‘s plans to move into the streaming business, SFX has also thrown its hat into the ring. It has rebranded Beatport, the leading online marketplace for dance music, and split the brand into two sites: Beatport Pro, where you can still purchase music, and Beatport, the new streaming service. Currently, Beatport is unavailable to the general public, but the Beta site is up and running for those lucky enough to get an invite.
Though it’s hard to reinvent the streaming game, Beatport surely does its best to. It has a sleek, all white design – the direct opposite of Beatport Pro, which uses a dark color scheme as its base. The search engine is large and easy to navigate, better than the tiny space and drop-down menu at the top of the page for pretty much any other streaming site I’ve been on. Similar to Pro, Beatport’s search results include every appearance of every track, meaning Dusky‘s “Nobody Else” is listed more than once due to its inclusion on compilations.
As expected, the actual musical library leaves much to be desired. Key albums are missing like Disclosure‘s Settle or Zedd‘s Clarity, but remixes for certain tracks on these albums are present instead. Still, for some artists it’s like hitting a musical jackpot. Ferry Corsten‘s library includes tracks dating back to 1998, which led to a lengthy, yet enjoyable trip down memory lane. As SFX procures more licensing agreements from record labels and artists, expect its library to rival Spotify and Rhapsody.
There are many small features lacking from the site that could really enhance the streaming experience. Unlike most other sites, Beatport allows you to purchase the tunes as you’re streaming them. However, clicking on purchase only redirects to Beatport Pro in another window, rather than adding music to a shopping cart on the same page. There’s also a surprising absence of a genres section to make discovering music easier. Though, the biggest roadblock in Beatport Beta right now is the inability to create playlists/queues. The auto-play function still exists on artist pages, but users are unable to curate their own experiences, a feature I’m sure wont be forgotten in the full version.
New additions worth noting are the Shows and News tabs. As of now, the Shows section is inactive, but it seems as if the page will operate similar to Wantickets or Resident Advisor, with an added bonus of streaming the artists’ music simultaneously. Though no word on whether or not Beatport will actually sell tickets, SFX bought Flavorus a year ago, so the idea is very likely. This would easily drive traffic to the site for major SFX festivals if Beatport’s site was the only place to purchase tickets. Beatport has also included a blog which includes track reviews, news, events, and features.
Overall, there’s a lot of potential for the new Beatport to be a formidable rival against other licensed streaming sites. By adding features from music sites of other purposes, it can become a one-stop shop, the first of its kind if executed correctly. To learn more about the new Beatport or jump on the waiting list for a beta invite, visit the website.