Beatport have acquired a majority stake in International Music Summit – so what’s behind this expansion?

What is the point of the International Music Summit? Their website claims they are “an educational, inspirational and motivational thought leadership platform dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for electronic music”. The sheer amount of word salad utilised suggests they don’t actually do much at all.

Each year, they hold a series of events. Not much ever gets written up about most of them, aside from the centerpiece Ibiza one. This is the one which attracts the biggest names in the scene – and this just happens to be enough to persuade editors to let a compliant journalist head to the island to provide the “right” kind of coverage.

Last year, you might recall they congratulated Simon Dunmore on his achievements in the music industry – back in the heady days before he was ousted as Defected’s boss. Oh, and Pete Tong just happened to announce his latest money spinner £418 DJ academy at the event where he just so happens to be a founder. The sheer incestuousness of this scene never fails to surprise Ears To The House.

Judging by recent moves, however, Beatport disagree with our view on this. The reason? On Tuesday, they announced they had purchased a majority stake within the International Music Summit. What isn’t currently so clear is why they’ve bought the stake and what they intend to do with it.

Their own statement on Beatportal claims “IMS Ibiza will continue to operate under the direction of its co-founders, with the full support of The Beatport Group” – which suggests that Pete Tong’s unceremonious deposition from the IMS isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But otherwise, Beatport’s plans remain shrouded in mystery.

The only clue within the statement is a quote by CEO Robb McDaniels, where he says “Everyone at Beatport is excited to take [the IMS brand] to the next level. We look forward to partnering with… the entire IMS team to broaden the IMS footprint as a major component of our plan to expand the Beatport brand around the world through community, education, and thought leadership initiatives.”. Which begs the question – what’s in this for Beatport?

To put it mildly, Robb McDaniels is not the type of man to spend money without looking for something in return. He was previously brought into Beatport in 2017 at a time when the company remained in difficulty following the SFX bankruptcy the year before. Since then, McDaniels has gone on a buying spree, with Beatport gobbling up LabelRadar last year and Loopmasters in 2020.

Quite where the International Music Summit fits into the Beatport empire remains to be seen. Perhaps early indicators of this will come around the time of this year’s event in Ibiza – currently scheduled for April 26th…

Ears To The House Team

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