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Breaking scandal over Beatport positioning

Laidback Luke's Mixmash imprint have found themselves embroiled in a breaking controversy over accusations of rigging the influential Beatport charts.

At the end of last week the Dutch label ran a promotion for Laidback Luke & Tujamo’s ‘S.A.X.’ which offered a full refund for anyone who purchased the track (within a 7 hour window) and sent proof of purchase to Mixmash direct. They titled the post with the copy "Blatant way to get to the top!! ‪#‎SAXTOTHETOP‬".

The track consequently shot up the charts to the No.1 position, causing many disgruntled fans to cry foul and accuse the label of chart rigging. 

Beatport subsequently removed the track from their charts.

When DJ Mag approached Mixmash for comment this evening they provided the following explanation:

"With the release of Laidback Luke and Tujamo’s S.A.X, we wanted to make a big impact for a record that was already performing very well on its own –  on last Friday 5pm we had already comfortably reached Nr 6 on Beatport’s chart before we began our promotion [...]

The campaign was aimed at getting people talking about the release even more, and to that end it certainly was successful. The campaign was never intended to generate more sales, we frankly don't believe that people would be swayed to purchase a record they weren't planning on buying anyway."

They also provided a graph that appears to show that the growth in the records sales was organic and thus not impacted by this promotion and told us that they only had 33 requests for refunds. Unfortunately we have no way of verifying this number.

In the same statement, Beatport stated:

“While conducted in the open from a reputable label with no history of artificially influencing sales, the campaign impacted Beatport policies regarding chart eligibility. Out of fairness to other labels, Beatport had no choice but to remove the track from the store as a result. The decision to remove the track in question was not to punish Mixmash Records, Laidback Luke, or Tujamo, nor should it be seen as an accusation of any wrongdoing against any of the parties involved. The track was re-added shortly after with a new track ID to reset the chart position.”

And Laidback Luke said he welcomes debate on the matter:

“I am disappointed that my latest single is being penalized, but look forward to the discussion it will hopefully create on new ways of promoting music for the future & how they should be treated.”

There will certainly be debate around the issue. Questions are being asked as to whether this was a misguided promotional effort or a cynical attempt manipulate the charts. In a climate where Beatport are making big public moves to erradicate the practise of chart rigging this is a debate that will run and run.

Let us know your stance in the comments section below.