Remember downloads? Remember CDs? Remember vinyl?

Add to that – streams.

Because Algoriddim adding Spotify to djay is earth-shaking. Sure, Pacemaker did this in February. But that app was thin on some critical features DJs need, and the Spotify integration was lackluster. This is different. djay is a mature, full-featured DJ app – maybe not a known name like Traktor or Serato, but widely popular and brimming with features, plus a UI that casual DJs find easy to use. It’s also one of two mobile apps (Traktor for iPad being the other) that people seem to actually DJ with.

So this is huge. Requesting a wifi connection at venues could be as common as asking for a mixer, cable, or turntable – especially given how much of the market is casual DJs to begin with.

And the thing likely to absolutely terrify artists, labels, and stores who sell downloads is the fact that the Spotify integration is seamless. Unlike Pacemaker, it plays instantly and analyzes quickly – then saves all that information on cues, tempo, and key locally. And the integration with search and libraries in Spotify does everything that client does – then adds more features for DJs.

  • Full playlist, library support. Basically, if it works in Spotify, it works in djay – searching, instant play, and all your playlists, meaning Spotify becomes a tool for organizing playlists (which for some DJs, I expect it already was).
  • Match and Automix Radio. This should ruffle some DJ feathers. Spotify’s predictive algorithms are good – really good, thanks to acquiring intelligent tech from The Echo Nest that sources everything from metadata to human reviews to work out how music is interconnected. I’ve actually found some nice music that way with the Spotify client. Now, you can use it to DJ, and algoriddim says even they were surprised by the results. You can either Match songs as you DJ, or use your DJ app as your music player (which is kind of fun, especially with an iPad at your side).
  • Social sharing. Another draw – if you’ve been putting off making mixes for self-promotion, now there’s no excuse.

That’s not all that’s new in djay. Algoriddim has a couple of features that make it a more-serious challenged to NI’s Traktor for iPad: there’s new controller integration for third-party hardware (and ideal for those wanting to mix and match), plus effects by the lovely SugarBytes. Those two features are almost enough to make me stop cringing at djay’s skeuomorphic user interface, which to me is its one remaining drawback.

But talk about disruptive.

The good: artists could see more streams of their music, which means if Spotify and labels can ever sort out licensing in a way that actually gets ample cash to artists, streaming revenue could be more realistic. And, frankly, that’s much easier than the often-broken methods for tracking plays in clubs now.

The bad: well, downloads could be a thing of the past. And that’s bad news on the producer/label side. Download sales have been far better for artists. And they tend to build relationships between fans and the music, including providing artists with far greater stats (especially on services like Bandcamp and SoundCloud).


My guess is, this will push artists to try to pursue other avenues:

1. Higher-quality downloads, for fidelity closer to the master than streams can provide (especially important in big clubs).
2. Specialized downloads, like for-sale Traktor Remix Decks, Ableton Live sessions, or other remix-friendly stems. (Samples are already big business at Beatport, and trends like this mean sites like that are likely to invest more heavily in those areas to protect their future.)
3. Vinyl. It’s available to a select few artists, but it’s now not just about cache – it’s about survival. A lot of serious releases from labels may start to head this direction.

— and apps of their own, though there the return on investment may not be great enough to justify the investment of time.

I also hope Spotify works to provide more listener statistics to its artists. For instance, I won’t care if I don’t make a cent off streams, if I could then track DJ plays by city and work out where I might want to tour.

The big question, I think, is when the other shoe drops: when do we see Spotify integration from Pioneer, Serato, or Native Instruments?

In the meantime, count this as at least one shoe.

  • axel

    If Spotify doesn’t pay well, then why labels continue to upload their music there? If you want the exposure, put one song or two, not the entire album.

    • SomeDude

      “If Spotify doesn’t pay well, then why labels continue to upload their music there?”
      Because the major labels actually own SHARES of the company Spotify. They don’t get paid the same peanuts that indies get. And once Spotify gets its IPO , all owners will exit with a hefty sum in their pocket. The indies that’s been used as fodder by Spotify (” Hey we won’t pay you, but you will get exposure and you will be able to sell some nice t-shirts !”) will be left with the biggest Rickrolling in the history of music business.
      I agree though, if you MUST be on Spotify, just put a couple of tracks , not the album.

    • Derp

      Would be nice if you could choose which tracks go on there from CDBaby.

      There is no way to add your music as an artist, you must go through an aggregator/distributor.

    • SomeDude

      There is a way to do it , but it’s costly : You make 2 versions of your album, the complete one , and one with just a couple of selected tracks. Then you distribute the complete one to all stores ( iTunes, Amazon, etc) while opting-OUT of Spotify, and you distribute the short one to ONLY Spotify by opting-OUT of all the other stores. This of course only works with aggregators that allow you to select stores ( CDbaby, Tunecore, some others..).
      You’ll have to pay for two versions , and it may not come cheap if you already have many albums, but it’s doable.

    • Freeks

      These days you can add music to spottily for free via online distributor so why not do it? Just stay away from services that charge money for online distribution.

      As an artist you add your own tracks via iTunes. IMO Soundcloud integration would be great. That’s where the tomorrows music is.

  • Peter Kirns Ghostly Anus

    more cock for cocks.

    • idm shitwizard

      hey man this is my turf

  • SomeDude

    “The big question, I think, is when the other shoe drops: when do we see Spotify integration from Pioneer, Serato, or Native Instruments?”

    I think the right question should be “When will Spotify close down and replaced by a more-ethical , non-gangster-thinking streaming solution?”
    Maybe never I guess… People unencumbered with morals always win in the end, unlike the movies..

  • Freeks

    “Spotify’s predictive algorithms are good – really good, ”
    I have been spottily premium user since day one. Algorithms are better now that they used to be, but still very very far from good. Spotifys suggestions are one of the most common jokes. Sometimes it works, most of the time not.

    I have been playing around with this app for few days now. Autoplay is mostly useless. Due the nature of Echo Nest it rarely suggest a song in same genre unless the track is form the same band. Maybe it works with TOP-20 stuff, but with any non super commercial it’s mostly miss all the time.

    I have the app in iPhone and it makes me want to finally upgrade my Retro iPad to Air, It’s just that good.

    I have not got the Sync button to work yet. Tracks are mostly not on the beat and i don’t know how to change the timing.

    If the sync, Match and Autoplay start to work properly at some point then it’s killer app. Sync is must-have when playing without any means of cue.

  • Pelayo76

    Have anybody tried the new SPLYCE + Pulselocker integration? Any feedback? (it was released last Monday). Pulselocker seems like a much more specialized option than Spotify (in terms of music for DJs)

    • jetset

      It’s awesome!