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Beats Music buys Topspin

By | Published on Tuesday 4 March 2014


Beats Music has announced that it has acquired direct-to-fan platform Topspin, bringing the service back under its former CEO Ian Rogers, who left to head up Beats in January last year.

Announcing the deal in a blog post, Rogers said: “The acquisition brings a team of talented people who have spent years working on building and fine-tuning the artist-to-fan connection into the Beats Music experience. Topspin + Beats Music combines music discovery and direct relationships between artists and fans in a revolutionary way”.

He added: “A desire to be of value to artists in all facets of their career is in Beats Music’s DNA. We’re committed to establishing Beats Music as a conduit for the artist-fan relationship, a platform where artists have a voice, and a provider of useful data and analytics on how fans interact with artists and their music. This acquisition puts our money where our mouth is”.

Back at the end of January, Topspin made just under half of its staff redundant, a move that was said to be pre-empting a strategy shift towards becoming primarily just a technology platform. And indeed, Rogers says in his blog post that the company will now be looking for new ecommerce and fulfilment partners, suggesting that Topspin’s own fulfilment service is on the way out. Nonetheless, both Rogers and Topspin itself have said that artists using the D2F service will see no change for the time being.

One thing that will be particularly interesting to watch though, will be Spotify’s reaction to today’s news. The Beats rival added merch sellthrough to its own platform using Topspin’s ArtistLink service back in January. Although the sale to Beats is unlikely to be a complete surprise, it seems like that this partnership will now be less appealing to the Spotify team.