Beatport is stretching the legs on its new streaming platform as the DJ industry prepares itself for the third seismic shift in playable media.
Beatport Link is Beatport’s solution for streaming DJing – enabling tracks to be played on the fly from a server somewhere onto a DJ controller in a club somewhere else.
As we noted a few months ago, Beatport was cooking up their own version of SoundCloud’s DJ-centric streaming platform to stream tracks to stream tracks to “leading performance software applications.” Expected in the first quarter of 2019, Beatport Link instead is showing up now in beta release.
Earlier today, SoundCloud launched Pioneer DJ integration through Pioneer’s WeDJ app, according to Hypebot.
That article points out quite a lot of misconceptions and reasons to pause on this. Aside from the technical issues inherent from injecting a rogue, internet-dependent “live” element into sets, the way we put it then was “We’re putting the internet into DJing because the internet wants to be in everything, not because it makes sense or makes DJing better.”
But in fairness, Beatport has given this a little time to work out before it heads to the bigtime. Already compatible with Pioneer’s DDJ-200, DDJ-WeG04 and DDJ-WeG03 controllers (as well as Pioneer’s DJ WeDJ for iPhone), RekordBox integration is due in the fall of 2019. With a 30 day free trial, that gives DJs, Beatport, gear manufacturers – and, uh, the club? – a shot at ironing out a few kinks.
I’d also anticipate that the big money people behind DJ streaming will also be recruiting some big name DJs to push the technology, as happened when vinyl gave way to digital music in the mid-’00s.
It’s also priced higher than SoundCloud Go, SoundCloud’s premium subscription program which is required by DJs for streaming off their platform (and a bunch of other things).
Alongside Link, Beatport has also unveiled Beatport Cloud, a somewhat dependent service that apparently doesn’t add functionality so much as it removes artificial restrictions Beatport itself imposed. With Beatport Cloud, a $4.99 monthly subscription enables “re-downloads” of music you’ve already purchased, and the ability to fully preview tracks. Both are limitations Beatport has built into their product; the service makes sense as a feature of Beatport Link or some other larger service, but not in and of itself as a standalone product.
Link and Cloud are being offered together at $14.99/month or $4.99 for just Cloud.