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Ups and Downs of DJs doing a live streams

Everything has a good and a bad side. All that matter is what you want and how you going to achieve. This post is about DJs doing live streaming on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, Zoom, etc.

Covid-19 has affected the live event industry

Due to the corona virus, people are lockdown in their homes. All the events have been cancelled including big festivals like Boom, Burning Man and Ultra Music. Other industries have also called off their event this year and some have shifted to video conferencing. Parties, concerts or festival are out of the question for video conferencing because the presence of people is must, they make the event they create the vibe. As revenue is lost and labels or organizers are shifting to virtual events.

Live streaming become a trend during COVID-19

As written before, events getting cancelled and organizers shifting to virtual events. Many of the DJs and record producers are doing live streams from their home. If the word ‘trend’ is poignant for some psytrance DJs and producers, think again guys you are doing it right now. After corona pandemic, things are changed. And it’s okay to be in the trend game.

Here are good and bad sides of doing a live stream for DJs.

Photo credit: Denon DJ website
Photo credit: Denon DJ

Ups

Let’s start with good ones.

Engaging your fans

When everyone is locked in their home. Live streaming is a very convenient way to connect with your fans and friends. Performer and audience are in their comfort of home. What better way to showcase new music, connecting with an existing audience and even building a new fan following.

Coronaraving

As events got cancelled or postponed. Many big labels and organizers are hosting virtual concerts for their audience. Putting stage, lights and visual effects, creating a moment for the listener sitting another side of the screen.

Getting donations

Cancelled events won’t pay artists. Many rely only upon set fees to pay their bills. If someone liked watching your live stream why not ask them for a little donation. Put a link asking them for donation and they will be happy to contribute. In this pandemic, it’s a good gesture to support an artist you love listening or whose music you’ve been playing.        

A platform for bedroom DJs

If you’re new to DJing and haven’t started to DJ out in parties. Live streaming is a very good way to start. Make a playlist, start to mix them and stream on your Facebook, Insta or YouTube. You might be surprised to see people’s reaction. You could get hundreds of likes on your stream and that’s a positive motivation.

Play whatever you want

This is a sensitive subject and topic of moot. I’ll be very quick here. Normally DJs grow up listening to various genres and style of music. And there is always a dilemma between genre to play and establish a name associated with a particular style of music. Sometimes you can’t play a track in the club because it doesn’t fit your style or crowd won’t like. But in bedroom live streaming, you can play the music you want to play and maybe mash it chop it blend it in your style. Maybe some will love it or some hate it. The crowd won’t go off the dancefloor or scream. At most, they will not watch that streaming. If they loved you at the gig, they will be back to watch your next stream.          

Downs

Check some not so good one. And where one can see the possibility of improvising.

Audio Quality

It’s not a downside rather a choice. People doing live streams by capturing video and audio from their speakers. Placing their speaker towards the camera to use that audio, instead of using audio output from the mixer. Sound of pressing buttons, whispering of people or cat in back, the sound of some objects, etc. can be heard in the live stream. It is not good for the listeners. There are hundreds of video on YouTube How to stream properly. If you can’t find or spend money on TRS to TRRS adapter or iRig stream, then find another way. Audio quality is much more important than the fact ‘going live’ on Facebook.

Copyright issues

Copyright has always been an issue. Especially after streaming services had picked up and Google’s ‘Content ID’ system came in 2014. As per law, one cannot use anyone’s recorded music or sample in their fixed work (DJ mixes, track, live sets, live streaming etc.) Facebook and Instagram are strict about copyrighted works.

YouTube has little flexibility but that is permitted by the distributing company. YouTube is instructed by the record labels that let people use their label’s music in the videos and in return, YouTube shows ads on those videos and revenue is collected by the record label. Record label doesn’t care who use their music in DJ mixes as long as the video is Content ID matched and the label is getting revenue. Some DJs use mashup or remix version of tracks to avoid copyright claim or strike. But this is not the case in psytrance or techno music. Please note that Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch are not meant for DJ mixes. You have to use your original content.

But why some artist get blocked by playing their composed music on Facebook? This is because the distribution company has not permitted Facebook to use that music. To do so record label has to instruct the distribution company and by using Facebook Right’s Manager Tool they clear the rights for an artist to play that music.

Monetization

This point is on both sides. If you can monetize your streams, it’s up. If you can’t, it’s down. To monetize your Facebook video, you should have 2000 followers and 300 active viewers on the live stream. Then Facebook shows ads of 30 seconds in the video. Again copyrights have to be cleared.

Affects Quality of your page

Be it any streaming platform. If you continuously get copyright claims or strike there is a risk that you may lose your page or channel. And when applying for page or channel review to get verified these things are also considered.

Conclusion

As long as coronavirus pandemic is active there will not be any gathering for parties or festival. DJs going to have a hard time. If they stream online, they can engage with their audience and expand or even get donations. But, in some cases, due to copyright issues, their streams and the live button is being taken down by Facebook. 

If you’re a DJ or producer what are your thoughts. How are you going through? 

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