DJing in the Age of Streaming
From tapes to records and then CDs to MP3s, the media of DJing has changed drastically in the last 20 years and continues to evolve, or will it?
With online streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify it would appear we have yet again reached new heights! Unlimited music, new and old with a simple search for one low monthly fee! No more $100/mo Itunes and Beatport bills for tracks and CDs! No more hard drives with faulty cords and errors! Too good to be true? Of course it is!
4. Licence and assignment The Spotify Service and the content provided through it are the property of Spotify or Spotify's licensors, and we grant you a limited, non-exclusive, revocable licence to make personal, non-commercial use of the Spotify Service and to receive the media content made available through the Spotify Service in your Local Country, based on the Subscription or Trial you have selected (the “Licence”). This Licence shall remain in effect for a period of 20 years unless terminated by you or Spotify.
Well that really puts a damper on things doesn't it? But wait! If you use Djay 2 or Djay Pro, Spotify is ok with it. Are they though? Nope. Just because they partnered with these softwares still does not make it ok to use their service in a commercial manner. So you can, but you really can't. Confusing? You bet!
The fact is no streaming service is ok with DJs streaming content for commercial usage, so much so that Apple Music isn't even compatible with any DJ software.
Now I can talk about licensing, content usage, and all the legalities that legit, professional companies have to put up with and pay for, for hours, but let's talk about something more important. Stability.
DJs who rely on saved online playlists and music run the risk of losing access to their music at a moments notice. What happens when the terms of service change and leave you high and dry without any music right before that wedding or important gig? What happens when the Wifi drops, or slows to a crawl? Then what?
As DJs we are always looking for the next best thing to make things easier for us and more attractive to our clients, but we need to first look at the bigger picture. As professionals we need to ask ourselves, is it stable? Is it safe? What are the drawbacks? What if ...?
In closing, external dependency on online music, streaming or otherwise should be limited to last minute requests or tracks you might not currently have in your library. It is far too early and apparently not even allowed to use streaming to fully DJ, so integration with a local collection should be considered if streaming is really what you want to offer. Building your own local music collection is still the best policy however and should take priority.