Audio-Technica decided to imitate, and not innovate. Long Term Evaluation of the ATH-PRO700 DJ headphones reveals The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly...
>>> FULL REVIEW
Native Instruments is back with their stellar FM8, the second incarnation of their FM synthesis emulator, and fans of the DX7 can finally stop scouring eBay...
>>> FULL REPORT
Sign up now for our Newsletter! We'll keep you updated on the lastest music news, releases, events and other important issues facing electronic music (plus we send you
free stuff if you include your mailing address!) >>> Futuremusic Direct
Stephen Marley has finally come out of the shadows of his famous father and charismatic older brother Ziggy to deliver an intimate,
yet widely accessible solo effort Mind Control on the Tuff Gong imprint. Combining Dance Hall, Reggae, and his own electronic
take on hip-hop, Marley points his listeners to the future, without forgetting his past. From the instantly catcy Traffic Jam featuring his
half-brother Damian (Jr. Gong), to the delicate Lonely Avenue in which you'll need a voiceprint to differentiate him from his father's trippy best,
Stephen Marley is a force to be reckoned with. This could be the best Marley offspring album to date. Buy it now!
Gabriel Ananda is set to release his full-length, Bambusbeats on March 19th. The new release has a mature sound, but falls away from his well-known melodic style to venture into new territories. To celebrate the release his label is graciously giving away one of the album's best cuts, Lamakov as a free download. This artistic minimal journey builds to a nice crescendo before melting in your mouth and then your pants...
Paul Van Dyk's Vandit Imprint drops Lange Vs. Gareth Emery's Another You, Another Me. a Funky Trance release with a nice throbbing percussive tech house remix by Terranova & Austin Leeds.
May 31, 2007
../ Dance Download Alliance Announced To Fight Beatport
UK Online Music Stores Claim Beatport's Exclusivity Agreement Is The Target — But Could It Be Survival?
Seven UK dance music download stores have joined together to create the
Dance Download Alliance (DDA). The seven members, 3Beat Digital, Audiojelly, DJdownload, Juno Download, TrackitDown, Trax2Burn and
Xpressbeats, have joined together to counteract a proposal offered to dance labels and distributors by Beatport who offers an exclusivity
arrangement, as an option, on all new releases from labels if they chose to participate.
Is exclusivity the Dance Download Alliance focus? Or is it something more?
The DDA has been quoted as saying that "we believe that the short and long term effects of such a proposal will damage the dance music industry
as a whole. Consequences for labels, artists and distributors, as well as download retailers and ultimately customers, could be severe."
The DDA is threatening to dump labels who "join a blanket exclusivity arrangement"
since it "would not be economically viable for us to continue to stock repertoire from labels" who [accept said arrangement]." The letter to
participating labels also goes on to warn: "The loss of the support and promotion of seven major UK online dance retailers (as well as our many
affiliate stores) will undoubtedly have a major impact on your label's and artists' profiles across the web, as well as your ability to maximise
additional revenue streams such as compilations and licensing. Leaving customers without the choice of where to buy your music could also increase
the chances of your music being traded through P2P networks stimulating a rise in dance music piracy."
Banding together the UK's leading online retailers to fight Beatport is a savvy
move for this new coalition since their combined power far outweighs individual efforts. Having access to up-to-the-minute releases from labels
is the lifeblood of Dance music-oriented retailers, both online and offline. The seven retailers are determined to not let this new exclustivity
option succeed, which would significantly harm their businesses, and may have taken a page out of the
recent online royalty rate hike
battle that found instant strength in numbers.
"The Dance Download Alliance believes that fair competition and consumer choice
are foundations for a healthy and flourishing dance download market," claims the DDA. However, if you read between the lines, you can smell the
The alliance is painting Beatport as a company who's following Apple's cutthroat
tactics in order to solidify their top position, and to gain the upper hand against their competitors. Leveraging market position has allowed iTunes
to not only dominate the market, but also to control pricing. In addition, prominent positioning on the retailer's site often makes a significant
impact on the fiscal results of a new release, so many labels are forced to play ball. However, this isn't the case in terms of Beatport.
FutureMusic has learned that Beatport's exclusivity on new releases is simply one
of three tiers that the retailer offers labels. The labels can choose to participate, and are not being strongarmed into a "blanket exclusivity
arrangement" as the UK Dance Download Alliance has alleged. In addition, labels who chose not to participate in the exclusive option are not being
punished by Beatport, as some have also suggested.
The Future: The DDA's retailers also provide the backend for the Ministry Of
Sound, M8, Judgemusic and DJ Magazine's online stores, which adds some juice to their position, but also unveils some behind the scenes politics.
The exclusivity option that the DDA is spinning does have a small chance of hurting the US download concern, but since they are so far ahead of their
competitors in both customers and technology, it may not make a difference to dance record labels who want to give their releases the best possible
chance for economic success in this over-saturated market.
What's even more hypocritical is that many of the labels that make up the DDA, beg popular labels for exclusive tracks, which undermines
their argument and position. So what's the real story?
Another take is that the Alliance was formed, not so much as to combat exclusivity, but for survival. Beatport is annihilating most of their competitors
in the Dance music download space, and gaining ground all the time. New record labels want to be on Beatport, and are joining the other online
retailers just for a little icing on the cake. Now that these UK retailers are finding themselves insignificant, they may be doing whatever it takes to