I think it's a lazy term, presuming all music is primarily 'beat-based'.
Well if someone reads your resumee and calls you producer in the face you'd think differently.I find the term "producer" useful because it highlights a real distinction. Composers write and arrange music. Producers make beats. Beats are one kind of music, and a producer is one kind of composer/arranger.
I'm hearing that term a lot since around 20 years.
Maybe there is a connection that at that time Sampling CDs with construction kits became popular, which allowed the users (often Rapers) not only to build a drumbeat but also provided chord changes, bass lines etc.
For songwriters the term "beat" may sound strange, however, to me it sounds more awkward when people are speaking of "songs" when they mean instrumental tracks.
Or when they use the term "classical" when speaking of easy listening music that incorporates either strings or brass or pianos.
If words are used in an inappropriate way over a long time, they eventually change their meaning.
What was inappropriate becomes the new appropriate.
But that's quite a normal process in culture.
With regards to the beats, as long as they are smooth, i like them.
Turning 48 this month. And while not as hip as @doctoremmet to this new lingo, I try to keep up.#Metoo