Insight into your data is the key to building a career in this age. Access to information has become the defining feature in the careers of DJs and producers of music who are looking to connect more deeply with their (often anonymous) audience. Shazam is one great tool for discovering who these people are.
Shazam your city
Touring DJs are gonna love this one. Using Shazam’s regional charts, you’re now able to view the 50 most looked up tracks in any given city. This type of data is of course super useful for any DJ who wants to know what’s currently being heard by the general masses, but also what’s currently hip in their area. Chart models (like Apple Music) don’t generally go deeper than top tracks per country. But geographic awareness by city is a game-changer, especially for touring DJs who need to keep ahead of the pack with local insight.
In defence of the haters, this tool is a very, very broad strokes approach towards finding out what tracks are in demand by niche audiences and tastemakers. The results of any given search are always going to be a by-the-numbers approach that fails to factor in underground interest. In other words, using this tool will only ever result in a list of the most pop-focused, heavily marketed hitmaker efforts. And as we’ve discussed many times over, being a long-game working DJ is about leading an audience, not chasing one. Hit up your own city and see if it’s working for you. Or check out the most Shazamed tracks right now in London, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Berlin.
Shazam for Artists
Producers of music will benefit from Shazam for Artists. Once signed up and verified, Shazam allows producers to access valuable insights into who is looking up your published music, where they are and more. These stats are slightly more valuable than stats on plays because they demonstrate active involvement in the discovery process rather than an algorithmically determined playlist that’s running in the background in someone’s living room. In other words, they tell you who is actually interested in your music. To sign up, you have to have already distributed your music to Apple Music and verified as an artist at Shazam for Artists. Follow the steps to claim your profile. Labels may also register and verify as representatives for artists, a useful tool for DJ collectives and communities of music publishers.
Using tech to your advantage is a crucial element in your DJ or production career. But always remember that these tools are just that - tools for making the actual work easier. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the statistics and reports are the product. The real gold is in interacting with real people at real events. Put that at the center and let the tools assist with the heavy lifting. Get onboard with one of our DJ programs with more on how to take your DJ job forward!
John Bartmann is a music producer and DJ.