EDM-focused entertainment firm SFX Entertainment’s revenues nearly tripled year-on-year in the last quarter, but its losses grew too.
The public company published its latest financial results yesterday, revealing that its revenues rose 199% to $82m in the second quarter of 2014, but its losses jumped 78% to $43.7m over the same period.
The results provide the latest insight into the business of dance music in the US: there may have been an EDM boom in recent years, but many companies are still searching for profits in it.
For SFX, just under three quarters of its revenues (74.6%) came from festival and live events produced, promoted, licensed or managed by the company – 228 events in total in the last quarter.
The rest of SFX’s revenues came from “sale of products”, with downloads store Beatport accounting for 57.9% of that income – just over $12m. That compares to $12.3m in the second quarter of 2013, suggesting that Beatport sales have actually slipped slightly in the last year.
SFX seems confident that Beatport and the “platform” segment of the company it sits within will drive more growth ahead. “We believe that in the near and medium-term, revenue from our online Platform properties, including Beatport, will experience growth as we introduce new content, products and offerings,” as the company’s results filing put it. Beatport is also the base for a new weekly radio show airing on 90 of Clear Channel’s markets, kicking off this month.
Even so, Beatport’s 2% year-on-year fall in revenues may be a concern for SFX, given the continuing popularity of the music it sells. Factors could include piracy, and a shift to streaming or mainstream download stores from its non-DJ audience.
If the latter, the year-on-year decline may reflect wider trends within the industry rather than problems at Beatport: if we’re at a tipping point for a transition between sales and streams, a 2% drop may actually be outperforming the wider downloads market.