On February 1, it was official. SFX Entertainment went bankrupt (wiping $300+ million in debt), but it wasn’t a shock; and when SoundCloud’s demise is announced I don’t think any of us will be that surprised either. The news regarding SFX is pretty disturbing though, especially for the thousands of producers who spend countless hours writing music to make few bucks and a name for themselves. “Do what you love, love what you do,” they say, but it doesn’t always work out when it needs to.
For those who don’t know, SFX Entertainment took Beatport under it’s wing in 2013 for $50 million, taking the company public. At the time, Beatport was healthy. Paying artists wasn’t a problem, profit was steady and even growing for that matter. If you’re a registered artist or label owner and were producing around that time you’ve seen the numbers. Yet, under SFX Entertainment you saw a major decline in sales and the inevitable takeover of the streaming generation began to grasp tightly. All of us lost money in 2014 and 2015… well, it was a joke and the desperado’s in EVERY genre are buying their own tracks more than ever before.
With the history of Beatport’s success still lingering in the minds of electronic music culture’s artists and labels they can’t shake off the fact that this could be the end. SFX Entertainment filing Chapter 11 allows them to stay in business, but it doesn’t mean that the future of Beatport is safe by any means. The future of the electronic event holder, promotion company, music distributor, store and streaming service will be at the hands of a court order for creditors to obtain the funds necessary to pay off SFX’s debt. But, take a breather… this may take a while.
Beatport is stating operations are “Business as Usual,” and pay outs to artists and labels will remain on the quarterly basis. But January is questionable, so if you’re expecting pay outs for January next quarter contact your Beatport label manager and double check. This week, snail mail was delivered to their direct clients addressing the matter, which is only raising more eyebrows.
As far as SFX Entertainment is concerned, the future of it’s other subsidiaries like Disco Productions (Disco Donnie Presents), ID&T (Tomorrowland), Rock in Rio, Miami Marketing Group (Liv), Made Event (Electric Zoo), including Beatport are all at risk. With a major decline at club and festival attendance for the Millenial generation, it doesn’t look good. There’s always a new beginning, so stay tuned for more developments on this story.