Spin’s still here: James Haidak discusses how DJs can pivot today


Business / Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

No one can deny the huge hit performers all around the world have taken because of the global health crisis. Life has indeed changed for me, James Haidak, and literally everyone I know. DJs and musicians have no longer been able to play in front of huge crowds like they used to.

We truly are living in a very surreal time. It’s almost like one of those futuristic, dystopian films where all we do is heavily regulated.

However, even with all the restrictions, performers have still found ways to fulfill their passion for music and performing. Thanks to technology and the internet, DJs and musicians have been able to put on shows on social media platforms, websites, apps, and even video games.

Perhaps, the best example of performers still doing their thing is my fellow DJ, DJ D-Nice from New York. D-Nice has put together some of the most impressive shindigs through Instagram Live with luminaries such as former First Lady Michelle Obama and social media titan Mark Zuckerberg in attendance.

However, not all DJs are as lucky.

DJs like me who have been making most of their money through being a DJ have had to find other ways to pivot after COVID-19 hit the world in full force. While social media may play an important role in DJ-ing for crowds, it hasn’t been that easy. Because of copyright laws, many times, videos are taken down.

But instead of allowing themselves to be bogged down by the system, a lot of DJs have tried playing edited versions of songs and remixes, including disclaimers in videos. Some DJs have even moved on to other platforms for their own pivot.

One of the more popular alternative platforms is Twitch, which is a live-streaming site that mostly caters to gamers. Through Twitch, many DJs, such as DJ Leo, DJ K-Mor, and DJ Junk Food, have found a new sanctuary to practice their passion.

However, as of late, Twitch users and DJs have experienced an increase in DMCA complaints, with Twitch authorities beginning to take down more DJ videos.

While there a large swath of other streaming sites out there in which DJs can share their music, the problem lies in taking followers from one streaming service to the next. And while this may be sort of a hassle for DJs everywhere, it’s still the best avenue for pivoting at the moment – until, of course, more streaming sites and license holders come to terms. Until then, DJs need to find more ways to bring their music to the world.

This is James Haidak, signing off.

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