Technology continues to evolve in leaps and bounds. The world of DJing has always eventually moved with changes to technology. Professional DJs and hobby DJs who have a home DJ setup have benefited from these changes.
From the days of spinning vinyl to the introduction of CDJs to the digital revolution. We now have access to powerful DJ software like DEX 3 opening up DJing to more people than ever before. As the times change so does the way we access the music we love and the latest movement is towards integrating streaming into DJ software. But what does that actually mean for DJs and is this the future of DJing? Let’s find out.
The Streaming Revolution
Before we dive into the details it’s worth covering how massive streaming has become. As internet speeds have increased so has the desire to access media instantly. Netflix exploded onto the scene and is rapidly approaching 150 million subscribers. These massive numbers have spurred other media giants to develop their own services.
The music industry has also embraced streaming services. After the explosion of CD sales, the internet was not as kind to the music industry with year on year declines in sales as piracy became more common. The music industry was forced to change and streaming was the solution. While you no longer directly own any of the music you play you now also have access to a much wider choice of music at a much cheaper price. It makes sense for the DJ industry to also take advantage of this streaming revolution.
One of the early innovators of music streaming is SoundCloud. For over 10 years they have been a hub of established and independent artists. Boasting 200+ million tracks solidifies it as a gold mine of potential for DJs. The trouble was that before there was no way to fully tap into these options as a DJ. You had to hope the artist offered their track for download or you had to navigate your way to a third party site to buy the track. All this changed with SoundCloud Go+. Now you can have access to the full range of tracks and can stream them directly to supported DJ software like DEX 3.
Benefits of Streaming for DJs
Now let’s dive into the details of what this latest development actually means for DJs.
The biggest benefit is the sheer amount of music you now have access to. Discovering new music is a big part of the DJ lifestyle. As a DJ you are constantly looking for that next amazing track that will blow the crowd away. Having access to over 200+ million tracks is mind-numbingly huge.
DJing is also about creativity and expression. A limited budget for music hampers your ability to explore and experiment. With a simple monthly subscription, you are no longer limited. Purchasing individual tracks adds up quickly. In the long run, you’ll end up saving a lot of money when opting for a streaming service like SoundCloud Go+.
Having access to a massive amount of music also lets you dabble in genres you may not have been willing to spend money on. SoundCloud is also a hub of many underground and emerging genres. This allows you to find hidden gems that can give your sets a unique sound and set you apart from other DJs.
For the wedding and party DJ, it can also be a huge help. If someone approaches you with a request you can quickly locate it and stream it to your DJ software. No more disappointed customers.
Drawbacks of Streaming for DJs
While there is no denying the huge change that streaming provides there are a few things you should still be aware of.
The most obvious is the need for an internet connection. While this is a drawback we do live in a heavily connected world. Wi-Fi is practically everywhere a DJ would need it. So unless you have a set scheduled in a remote location without access to the internet it’s not that much of a drawback. Of course, this doesn’t mean that random events can’t occur. It’s always good to have at least a small collection of back-up tracks available in case the internet does drop out for some reason.
While having access to over 200+ million tracks is huge you may come across some artists that have not shared their music on SoundCloud. As the service grows I’d expect this to become less of an issue but it is still something to keep in mind when preparing your DJ sets.
The other interesting potential problem is that all this choice may actually be a bit overwhelming for some. I love having access to as many tracks as possible. It allows me to be more nimble when reading a crowd. It also prevents me from becoming bored by playing the same music over and over again, night after night.
But some people like the comfort of having a small selection of core tracks that they are familiar with. This is especially the case when you are a new DJ learning the ropes. Even then it’s easy to set up a playlist in SoundCloud and have it sync with DEX 3 so you can prepare and curate a more refined collection.
Is It The Future?
While there may be a few small potential issues there are too many benefits of streaming that it’s hard not to see it continue to evolve and expand.
Digital DJing enjoyed a massive boom when MP3’s became commonplace. DJ software like DEX 3 helped usher in a new era for not only professional DJs but also the hobby DJ.
The addition of streaming services like SoundCloud Go+ that integrate with DJ software adds even more options. At the end of the day, anything that offers extra choice and flexibility is welcome.
If you haven’t tried out the combination of streaming and DJing you should check it out, you may end up pleasantly surprised at what it offers.
The future looks bright for streaming and DJing!