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“swollen, nightmarish and homogenised”

The Black Madonna has just penned an insightful piece for Crack, describing the dramatic transition in Beatport’s business strategy since becoming owned by SFX and its growing stranglehold on the smaller labels it once helped to flourish.

Difficulties within Beatport have been noted for some time, with the company announcing that it would be freezing royalties for three months in August — then apparently distributing some royalties to major labels only. Now, Chicago selector Marea Stamper has spoken out about her experiences with the company, and with the troubles faced by its parent company SFX Entertainment (whose shares plummeted by 92.47% this year).

“The corporate money came,” Stamper has written. “Trusted employees vanished. Beatport began dispassionately culling “underperforming labels.” The number that you had to sell each quarter rose to $500 dollars. As a person involved a little more intimately with the mechanics of running a label on the creative side now, I can say that very few quality underground labels make $2000 a year.”

“I would argue that popular EDM’s demise is a little less of a bang and more of whimper, as the corporate money limps out of a genre that came with an expiration date, but not before completely demolishing more small stores and labels than I can count.”

“And who gets hurt when only the most successful, slick, well-funded and marketed labels are allowed a voice in a store that controls 85% of the market? The market starts to look a lot like the people that control most of the wealth in the world. The market gets whiter and straighter and more masculinised.”

Read the whole piece on Crack here.