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Beatport's DJ Subscriptions

What we know about Beatport Cloud, Link, and Locker.

Jason Wohlstadter avatar
Written by Jason Wohlstadter
Updated over a week ago

Years ago, when Spotify first started coming to the Amsterdam Dance Event, their team took to the floor and proposed to the electronic music industry that a low cost monthly subscription would lead to more people per month paying for music. Sure, avid fans of the past paid way more than $9.99/mo on music and would now be paying significantly less. But overall, way more people would be paying per month.

At the time, the electronic music industry (Proton included) weren’t exactly convinced: the Spotify app was still in its early days and we still earned a majority of our revenue from Beatport. It was hard to believe Spotify could pull it off - but they were right. And they made it happen. 

Now, Beatport is launching their own subscription model for DJs. Unlike Spotify, which is primarily for casual listeners, Beatport’s subscription model is designed for improving the lives of DJs. But similar to Spotify, Beatport aims to get more people paying for music per month.

Beatport collaborated closely with leaders throughout the electronic music industry to find and forge a path forward that doesn’t jettison the download revenue that electronic music labels and artists currently rely on. Proton was honored and grateful to be included in Beatport’s planning, and we’re excited about what the future holds!

The below article outlines Beatport’s plans for a subscription service, written specifically to help Proton’s 1300+ labels and 40,000+ artists understand what’s coming… 

Beatport is launching subscription services for DJs. 

Here’s what we know so far!

  • DJs will have multiple options when choosing their Beatport subscription, with each option including various features and benefits. (More details below.)

  • Beatport’s DJ subscription service is *not* an all-you-can-eat model that allows DJs to download an unlimited number of high-quality tracks. (More details below.) • The top tiers of Beatport’s Link subscription service include Beatport Locker, which provides offline access to a limited number of tracks at lower bit rates. (More details below.)

  • However, Beatport’s “Link” subscriptions do include full-length LOW BIT RATE playback in DJ apps at no additional cost. These plays generate streaming revenue for artists & labels. (More details below.)

  • For performance or professional use, DJs would still need to buy tracks if they want audio quality above 256K AAC. With their Beatport subscription, buying tracks is cheaper than before. 

  • Think of a Beatport subscription as giving DJs the ability to “audition” full-length tracks in their DJ apps, before buying high-quality masters at a discount.

  • These subscriptions are different than Beatport Hype, their subscription service for music labels. (If you’re a label paying for Hype but also a DJ, your Hype subscription does not include the DJ subscriptions, and vice versa. They’re separate!) 

You’ve got questions, and we’ve got (some) answers… 

How does this impact earnings for artists & labels?

  • Right now, only so many DJs buy music every month on Beatport. After over a decade of experience, Beatport has determined that a monthly subscription will help get more DJs paying for music each month. This is similar to Spotify’s idea that has recently driven their success.

  • Like Spotify or Apple Music, Beatport will keep track of the LOW BIT RATE plays in the DJ’s app. Whenever a DJ with a subscription plays a full length low bit rate track from Beatport, it earns the artist & label an equal share to all other plays that month. All the money Beatport collects from their subscribers are then shared pro rata with artists & labels based on the # of plays, just like Spotify & Apple Music. 

  • Beatport’s subscribers still need to pay for high-resolution downloads for performance and professional use, but Beatport subscribers get nice discounts - similar to how Beatport’s effective coupon system has worked in the past, which has significantly increased sales on the platform every month. 

What else should I know?

  • When DJs drop full-length tracks into their app via their Beatport subscription, their DJ app will tell them the BIT RATE of the track - so they’re reminded it’s NOT high resolution. This reminds DJs that for performance / professional use, they should still buy the track for high quality masters. 

What are the different subscriptions? What are the features & benefits?

  • Needle Drop previews on the Beatport store. For the first time, DJs will be able to preview any part of the entire track directly on Beatport.

  • Unlimited re-downloads for any track bought in the past. Every song purchased at Beatport is always available for easy access.

  • Exclusive discounts and coupons that are not available to non-subscribers. 

  • Beatport Cloud included at no extra charge.

  • Allows DJs to play full length but low resolution tracks (128K AAC) directly in DJ apps without having to buy the track. These tracks can only be played in a DJ app that supports Beatport Link: it won’t work in apps like Ableton or iTunes.

  • If the DJ wanted the full resolution audio for performance or professional use, they’d still need to buy the track - though their subscription helps them get the tracks at a discount. 

  • If the DJ wanted *offline* access to the full length low bit rate tracks, they’d need the more expensive Beatport Link Pro or Beatport Link Pro Plus subscriptions. 

  • Same as all the cheaper plans, but...  •

  • The full length tracks are 256K AAC instead of 128K AAC.

  • Up to 50 of the tracks are available for OFFLINE use in Beatport Locker. 

  • Same as all the cheaper plans, but with 100 tracks for offline use in Locker.

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