SFX buys Beatport

By | Published on Wednesday 27 February 2013


The all-new SFX Entertainment has bought dance-centric download site Beatport in a deal thought to be worth just over $50 million.

The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions and partnerships in the EDM space led by Robert FX Sillerman, whose original SFX business became a live entertainment powerhouse that was subsequently acquired by what became Live Nation, and who went on to create CKX, the company best known for controlling the Elvis Presley estate and buying Simon Fuller’s Idol-franchise-owning 19 business (and now operating as the CORE Media Group under the ownership of Apollo Management).

With EDM becoming big business in the US of late, and with various corporate players in the American industry seeking a slice of the newly appetising dance music pie, Sillerman announced he had set aside a billion for acquisitions in the genre early last summer. Since then his new SFX business has acquired various players in the EDM space, mainly club and festival promoters such as Dayglow Productions and Disco Donnie Presents, as well as taking ownership of more eclectic events like Voodoo Experience and striking up a joint venture with Dutch dance promoter ID&T.

Launched in 2004, Beatport has succeeded in the competitive digital music market by finding and servicing a niche ignored by the major players in the download space, not least by striking up deals with specialist dance labels whose catalogue was and sometimes still is missing from more mainstream platforms. The digital firm also sees itself as a destination site for dance music fans, and sees the potential to extend its brand further, possibly into live events, which is seemingly why the SFX acquisition seemed attractive to the company’s owners.

Beatport boss Matthew Adell told the New York Times: “We already are by far the largest online destination of qualified fans and talent in the market, and we can continue to grow that”.

Meanwhile Sillerman said of his latest acquisition: “Beatport gives us direct contact with the DJs and lets us see what’s popular and what’s not. Most important, it gives us a massive platform for everything related to EDM”.