In a move bound to please overwhelmed cratediggers, popular download site Beatport is culling its stock.
Reports surfaced last week that the service expected each label to reach a minimum of $300 per quarter in gross revenues. If an imprint failed to meet that benchmark, the label would be put on probation and forced to make more than $600 in revenue in the following quarter or its content would be removed from the site.
Ronny Kreiger, Beatport's Vice President of Content, stresses, however, that the guidelines are not a hard and fast rule. If a label has "a proper plan and structure...a unique quality sound…and fits with the repertoire we represent", Kreiger explained, there would be no reason for the US Label Management Team to take the label down from the store.
Quality control problems at Beatport are largely seen as a byproduct of the site’s popularity, and it’s an issue the site has tried to address in the past. In 2006, Beatport sent out a similar message to labels regarding revenue minimums, but the company had not been able to look at those reports and make adjustments. Krieger explains that Beatport’s UK and European Label Management culled labels in a similar fashion last year, but "for both teams the results were minor, because for various reasons they weren't as affected by quality issues."
Jean-Patrice Remillard, aka Pheek, who co-owns Archipel Records welcomed the decision. "I honestly think this will be a good thing for everyone. It may cause some people some problems for a while but there will be new ideas appearing, perhaps even new stores that cater better to the labels that may have to leave Beatport."
Even so, it looks as though few labels will be affected. Kreiger pointed out that "the doors are always open for all labels that are cut right now. If they present an interesting concept, high quality releases, a unique profile, we might reconsider and take them aboard again at a later time. Our interest in new and interesting smaller labels has always been there and will always remain."