The move toward the future is always upon us. More DJs than ever are adopting tablets, phones and hardware alternatives to the laptop than ever. Track streaming is eating into the territory previously owned by CDs and digital downloads. So what does this all mean for the DJs of tomorrow?
DJing is going mobile
In a recent roundtable discussion facilitated by DJ Tech Tools, a few high-ranking DJs agreed that the advance in tech is pioneering ahead as usual. And DJing is no exception to its effects. Like many professions, DJing is becoming freer than ever of the previous limitations of CPU and pesky power, signal and network cables. Tablets are becoming ever more DJ-friendly while lowering the complexity of use for those learning to DJ and pros alike. Wi-fi is increasingly present. And if not, mobile data costs are falling anyway.
Streaming is the future
It’s unanimously agreed that owning digital music files media is becoming old-fashioned. Younger generations have progressed. Jack Bridges, a Soundcloud representative, states that mobile use is very high and that fewer people are interested in finding the download button. Perhaps Beatport’s Heiko Hoffman says it best: “I think there will be a future where we look back at DJs using USB sticks like we look back at DJs using CD-Rs”.
The answer is metadata
But streaming music pays producers nothing, or close to it. Even hundreds of thousands of plays across streaming services amount to less than a living wage for artists. Spotify-integrated tablet software packages like DJay would arguably be doing the original producers a disservice by becoming the new norm. So where does the money come from? The simple answer is metadata. By effectively claiming all the unpaid playback royalties for streams or plays on every public event across the world. This currently isn’t happening. If festivals are paying DJs top dollar, they should be paying the original artists whose tracks are being spun.
There are always those stalwarts that will view the move away from CDJs as the next technocalypse, but the data is clear: DJing is going mobile. But we all know that (for the time being, at least), AIs are only good for mimicry. But regardless of the advances to come, one thing will never change: good taste. Sign up for a DJ course today and join the DJ Courses Online community.
John Bartmann is a music producer and DJ