Beatport's New Boss Looks to Boost Biz: Q&A With Lloyd Starr

Starr rises from COO to president of the EDM online hub

You could say Lloyd Starr, 35, was primed to be president of Beatport. As the 10-year-old company's former COO, there was nowhere to go but up. With Matt Addell's June 24 exit, the door opened and a flood of "philosophical" conversations - many over beers in Ibiza, Spain - turned into reality. How will the EDM online hub grow under his leadership? Starr is tight-lipped on specifics, but tells Billboard he plans to increase the company's social media presence first, while continuing to reach users through Beatport's bread and butter: track downloads.

What's your opinion on SoundCloud's takedown of Kaskade's allegedly copyright-infringing mashups?

Consumers want to mix content, and DJs and copyright holders want to put content out, so it's unfortunate when legislation gets in the way. That's why we originally put out [remix platform mixes.beatport.com]: When somebody purchases a track, they gain the license to remix it and put it up for sale or streaming. We've got some high-quality music, but obviously that's not something that grows to the scale of SoundCloud overnight. It needs to evolve in order to get that mainstream feel.

How are you dealing with "download farms" [services that repeatedly purchase an artist's song to drive it up the charts]?

First of all, f--- those guys. They're attacking the credibility of everybody else. We have smart people working on how we deal with that reactively, and we're building in functionality to deal with that proactively. It's a cat-and-mouse game. The fraudsters do what they can to defeat our tools, and we have to outsmart them.

Electric Daisy Carnival drew 400,000 people this year. How big do you think EDM can get?

It has room to grow, for sure. The barrier for entry into composing and creating music is much lower than before. Like this remix platform we've been growing - Zedd won two remix competitions and got a record deal. I get up every day to work toward that. Playing a small role in where they go and what they become, that's what makes this fun.


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