Laidback Luke and Tujamo released a single titled “S.A.X.” exclusively via Beatport last Monday, 25th January 2015. The track which started to rise up the charts quite quickly managed to reach the fifth spot within the same week; a very respectable spot indeed. Shortly after hitting that position Luke’s label, Mixmash Records, went into full-fledged marketing mode and offered a refund to anybody who purchased the song as long as the receipt was sent to the label. This generated a considerable amount of buzz around the track, but the excitement was cut short when Beatport took down the song as the promotion violated some of Beatport’s policies.
The promotion was apparently viewed as something which could influence the chart position of the song artificially, hence, the removal of the track. That’s not the end of the story though. Beatport later re-added the track to their site with a new ID. The track’s chart position was also reset in the process. A statement was released by Mixmash which said
The campaign was never intended to generate more sales, we frankly don’t believe that people would be swayed to purchase a record they weren’t planning on buying anyway, the total of 33 requests for refunds underlines this fact. The hundreds of records we sold that day to people that never bothered to ask for their money back proves that.
Mixmash Records was not happy with the decision made by Beatport but said that they will continue to nurture the relationship that exists between the two entities regardless of the fact that both parties have parallel views on the matter. The purchases which had already been made were not nullified. However, apart from record sales, having songs at high positions on the charts provides a level of prestige for the labels and artists involved hence taking down the song affected Mixmash’s marketing campaign. Beatport released a statement to explain the reason for taking down the song.
While conducted in the open from a reputable label with no history of artificially influencing sales, the campaign impacted Beatport policies regarding chart eligibility. Out of fairness to other labels, Beatport had no choice but to remove the track from the store as a result. The decision to remove the track in question was not to punish Mixmash Records, Laidback Luke, or Tujamo, nor should it be seen as an accusation of any wrongdoing against any of the parties involved. The track was re-added shortly after with a new track ID to reset the chart position.
Laidback Luke expressed disappointment with the situation but also expressed hope that it will open up a forum for discussion on new ways to promote music.
I am disappointed that my latest single is being penalized, but look forward to the discussion it will hopefully create on new ways of promoting music for the future & how they should be treated,” Luke said.
The music market is flooded these days and it’s a known fact that record sales have dropped considerably over the past few years due to file-sharing, piracy, and other issues brought on by technological advancement. 2014 was a particularly bad year for record sales. As such, many artists have had to come up with creative ways to release and promote their music such as free downloads if you buy a certain phone, releasing music through fans, offering admission to shows for purchases, cash and prizes for purchasing certain music, etc.
You can listen to and download “S.A.X.” at the bottom of the page which was also released to SoundCloud via Mixmash’s account. Let us know your thoughts on the situation and whether you feel it was fair to take the track down.