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SFX confirms lay-offs at Beatport “to allow us to adapt and improve”

By | Published on Monday 9 December 2013


The impact of the acquisition of dance-music focused digital music firm Beatport by SFX back in February has finally hit just before Christmas, with a reported 26 people let go by the company last week, mainly on the IT development side of the business.

It’s thought the layoffs are the result of two decisions by parent company SFX.

First, to focus on the core Beatport download store over other spin-off services that had been developed around the brand, including a social network for EDM artists and a set-up selling stems of tracks for DJs to remix. And second, to build SFX’s own tech development team around the company’s other recent techie acquisitions, rather than the Beatport engineers as was possibly originally planned.

Confirming the layoffs over the weekend, a spokesman for SFX told reporters: “With the additional resources provided by SFX, we are making significant new investments in Beatport and focusing on providing the best possible experience for our users – the DJ, the producer, the labels and the entire electronic music culture community. To allow us to adapt and improve our service, it was necessary to make some organisational changes”.

According to Techcrunch, which first broke the news of the layoffs, the “organisational changes” took Beatport’s employees totally by surprise. The firm’s whole San Francisco team were amongst the lay offs and, while that’s only thought to be six people, that move particularly shocked the workforce, with one insider telling Techcrunch that SFX decided to send an HR exec to oversee the layoffs first hand, rather than doing it on a conference call, because of fears staffers might “trash the office” in response.

Another anonymous insider told the tech site: “[SFX] is not concerned with anything but the store. It was crazy. It was a fucking bloodbath for sure. Some of the people laid off were working there for almost ten years”. The rest of the lay-offs – which account for nearly a third of Beatport’s relatively modest sized staff – were at the Denver office.

Giving the news a positive spin, SFX’s spokesperson added: “Beatport has always been about innovation and connection and these moves allow us to focus on that. With the recently announced [SFX] acquisitions of PayLogic and [tech agency] Arc90, this refocus on maximising Beatport as the definitive site for everything related to electronic music is indicative of our commitment to igniting the simmering revolution of this astounding movement, electronic music culture. We look forward to unveiling a number of exciting new technology initiatives in 2014”.