Since the founding of Spotify in 2006, streaming services have become the most popular mode of consumption for music fans. The ability to access over 80 million Spotify tracks at your fingertips has revolutionised the way we listen to our favourite artists.
It makes sense, then, that similar new apps and software might be found in the DJ world. Streaming sites for DJs – such as Beatsource, Beatport and Soundcloud – have met this demand, allowing DJs to perform their sets with similarly vast music libraries. Although DJs predominantly carry their music libraries around as MP3 files on memory sticks and laptops, the rise of these DJ streaming services could spell a new era of DJs who exclusively stream their music libraries.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the plans offered by the best DJ streaming sites, before taking a closer look at the benefits of streaming your music library as opposed to having it downloaded.
Can I use Spotify to DJ?
If, like so many of today’s music listeners, you are a Spotify user, you might be wondering if it is possible to DJ with Spotify. Unfortunately, there is no Spotify DJ mode – and it seems unlikely that there is going to be one any time soon. Sadly, plugging your phone into your mixer and playing tracks from Spotify cannot achieve the full DJing experience. However, it might work well enough if you’re getting a lot of requests and don’t have those songs on your USB.
Luckily, other streaming services are filling this gap in the market. Let’s take a closer look at the plans on offer and see which one might be the right one for you.
What services can I use with my DJ software?
As exclusively DJ-focused streaming services, Beatport Link and Beatsource may be attractive options.
Beatport Link is compatible with Rekordbox, Traktor, Serato, Engine, Algoriddim Djay app, DJUCED, Virtual DJ, Reloop and WeDJ, and has a focus on underground dance music throughout its library. For $14.99/month, you can stream 128kbps AAC quality files into any of these DJ softwares. On top of this, for $29.99/month, Beatport Pro offers 256 kbps AAC quality and allows you to download 1000 offline tunes.
If you are a beginner looking to explore and mix different genres whilst learning, the standard subscription is probably most suited to your needs. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a streaming service to use at your gigs, it may be worth spending the extra cash on Beatport Pro. The higher quality and offline capabilities will be a must if you want to take your music library to any venue which doesn’t have WiFi!
If you’re into more popular music genres, such as Pop and RnB, it may be worth checking out Beatsource instead. Beatsource is compatible with Rekordbox, Virtual DJ, WeDJ, Serato DJ, Hercules DJuiced, Denon DJ and Traktor Pro 3.5.
It has a cheaper entry level cost of $10 USD/month, which gives you access to Beatsource’s library of 7 million+ tracks at a quality of AAC 256kbps. As with Beatport, to get the benefit of being able to download 1,000 tracks for offline use, you’ll need to pay extra ($34.99 USD/month) for Beatsource Pro+.
Very similar to Beatport and Beatsource, but occupying a slightly different space in terms of its music library, is SoundCloud Go+. As well as boasting the kind of licensed music which you are likely to find on Spotify or Apple Music, SoundCloud also has loads of unlicensed tracks as well – ranging from original tracks composed by emerging artists, to bootlegs made by underground producers.
Go+ costs £9.99 per month, which allows integration into Serato, Virtual DJ Rekordbox, WeDJ, edjay, Traktor DJ 2 and Denon DJ at 256kbps AAC. If you’re looking to spice up your sets with some original, fresh-sounding dubplates and edits, SoundCloud Go+ is a great option!
Offering the same services as Beatport, Beatsource and Soundcloud in this area are streaming platforms Deezer and Tidal. If you are looking for a higher quality of music, you may want to check out Tidal - their hi-fi subscription (£20 / month) offers up to 24-bit/192kHz (FLAC quality) for use in Serato DJ, Denon DJ, Virtual DJ and Rekordbox. French streaming site, Deezer, has software compatibility with VirtualDJ and edjay - for £10 a month you can DJ tracks with 320 kbps quality.
What are the benefits of using DJ streaming services?
There are a number of benefits to using these DJ streaming services to source your tracks as opposed to having a library of MP3s saved to your computer.
For example, most DJs nowadays listen to music through streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music. It makes sense, then, that these sorts of services should be used to DJ as well.
After all, back in the day, DJs would listen to their collection on vinyl records, and then use those same records to play their music at gigs. With these streaming services, you can use a music converter to transfer your playlists from Spotify or Apple Music over to your chosen DJ streaming service. For example, Soundiiz (soundiiz.com) is a tool that will synchronise your Spotify playlists with your Beatport playlists, so that you can access the same tracks that you have saved in Spotify playlists via Beatport whilst you are DJing This narrows the gap between consumption and performance, moving you closer to the old-school vinyl DJs who really knew their music libraries well.
This streamlining is perfect for newer, younger DJs who have spent their whole lives so far listening to music through these streaming services. Whilst learning with a streaming service library, you can try out mixing as many new genres as you wish. This is perfect for experimenting and learning to mix as many styles as possible, an important part and process of any DJ’s journey.
DJ streaming services are here to stay, so it is worth checking one of the platforms mentioned in this article. It may be the home of your next music library!
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