The DJ-centric internet music retailer Beatport has announced the beta launch of Mixes, a new webstore that offers DJs the ability to legally upload and sell their mixes. The new service, which will operate as an extension of the existing Beatport website, will sell DJ mixes that are completely legal and DRM-free, with even the proper royalties for songs used in the mix being allocated to the appropriate labels and performing rights organizations. But there is a catch: For tracks to show up on the tracklist and for funds to be allocated to the necessary parties, the tracks in the mix must be purchased from Beatport. DJs will still be able to upload tracks that aren't on Beatport or are of their own creation, but these songs will not be able to properly show up in the tracklists and will be at risk of being taken down if any legal issues arise. In addition, any song that appears in a mix but was not purchased from Beatport (whether or not it was legally acquired) will not be eligible for royalties.
At this point, it seems like the Mixes project still has a few kinks to work out, but it nonetheless appears that Beatport's heart is in the right place, as each mix will retail for around $5.29, with 10% of the profits going to the DJ, 60% to label royalties, and 30% going to PROs. A little bit of math reveals that Beatport is set to make no money on the sales of these mixes at this point (although, if you have to purchase tracks from them, they obviously see a bit of profit in the end). In talking with DJ Tech Tools, Beatport CTO Peter Siciliano says, "We're not going to make a lot of money off of this. This is 'Let's find out what it actually takes and what the cost is to do a legal mix, and then carve out the space however it makes sense.'"
Clearly, Mixes is a work in progress, but considering that Beatport has fashioned itself into one of the leading online electronic music retailers, it's a project worth taking note of and keeping track of how it unfolds. Mixes is currently in a limited public-beta release, but those who wish to apply to upload their mixes to the store, or are in search of more information, should head here.