Are you curious to know about the 80,000 other people who read this site as of January 2011? At the end of 2010, we conducted our first annual reader survey to find out more about you. We wanted to know who you are, where you are, what kit you use, where you DJ, how often, and of course what you think of Digital DJ Tips. Hundreds of you took the time to fill in the survey, and your responses will help us to make Digital DJ Tips a more relevant, more useful and more unmissable place to visit than ever in 2011.
Here’s part 1 of the result: All about you. We’ve shown you the raw results, summarised them, and let you into our initial thoughts as to how we can use this info to improve Digital DJ Tips. As you’re reading through, you may well have some thoughts too about what we could do to make this an even better blog. So please let us have your suggestions in the comments at the end. Next Thursday, we’ll deliver your verdict on us! Next week, we’ll also let you know who’s won the US$50 iTunes voucher.
1. What age are you?
What you told us: We’ve got some under 15s and some over 50s, but the majority of you are between 16 and 40, with the majority of those being between 21 and 30.
What we think: It’s good to see so many young digital DJs coming through – would be great to have more 16-20 year old readers as you guys really are the future! However, the over 30s (and over 40s) are nearly 30% of our audience – these are often DJs who’ve switched to digital from vinyl etc, or who have returned to DJing after a break. We hear you, guys and girls – we’ll continue to carry articles that appeal to you, too.
2. Where are you?
What you told us: Just over a third of you are in the USA, and just under a quarter are in Europe, with the UK and Germany the most popular individual European countries for our readers. Canada accounts for about 15% of our readership, and Australia about 5%. But the rest – 25% of our readers – are in a whopping 200 different countries! Of those, Brazil and Mexico supply the most readers.
What we think: We are writing to a truly global audience. As Digital DJ Tips grows, we’re gathering a sizable number of readers in even the smallest of countries. This is really exciting for us as it means we’re building a truly global community. That global angle might, in the end, be the true benefit “digital” delivers to all of us.
Practically, we should try and include mention of the scenes in as many of these countries as we can periodically – and also maybe keep our language as simple as we can so Google Translate can do the best job on it!
3. What kind of DJ would you describe yourself as?
What you told us: You’re mainly hobbyist DJs, playing in your homes and at private parties. However, many of you play in bars, clubs and as mobile DJs too. And a decent number of you consider yourself DJ/producers as well.
What we think: We need to remain focused on quality articles for beginners and hobbyist DJs, while not forgetting that plenty of our readers play in public in all types of venues, big and small. We also need to offer more articles for our DJ/producer readers. The odd article about radio and broadcasting wouldn’t go amiss.
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4. How many nights a month do you DJ in public?
What you told us: Around half of you rarely or never DJ in public, which confirms what you told us in the first question. However, lots of you are lucky enough to DJ at least once a month out and about, and around 10% of you are semi-pro or pro DJs, playing at least once a week.
What we think: We think the half of you who only DJ at home or at friend’s houses would love to play in public more. We think we need to keep focused on providing you with articles about how to make that leap to playing maybe once a month in public.
Meanwhile, we’ve got plenty of readers who need to know how to step it up a gear, so they can join our semi-pro and pro readers and start playing out more regularly and earning more money from their DJing. We’ll make sure we’ve got your back in 2011 too.
5. Do you use a microphone when you’re DJing?
What you told us: You’re mixing DJs; you would rather not use a microphone. Only a tiny percentage of you have a DJing style or gig type that means you have to use a microphone all the time. However, plenty of you sometimes have to “get on the mike”.
What we think: Talking isn’t a big part of your DJing; however, enough of you have to do it at times. Therefore we’ll definitely carry an article or two covering microphone techniques, the best microphones to buy and so on.
6. Which music types do you play in your sets, and how often?
(Sorry about how complicated this graph is! Get your glasses on…)
What you told us: House is easily the main musical style of our readers, followed by top 40/pop and hip hop.
What we think: It’s sometimes easy to think that because the coolest night in town plays dubstep, chill-out or minima techno (for instance), that that’s what the world is listening to right now! The truth is that mainstream house rules globally, with pop and hip hop living happily alongside it.
While this isn’t a music blog (you won’t find tune reviews or downloads, for instance), we will ensure that when we talk about, demonstrate with or discuss music, we do so with your main styles well reflected – while not forgetting that as a whole, you’re into a wonderful variety of genres. Indeed, you told us so many exciting musical styles that we may have to carry a post “10 musical styles you’ve probably never heard of”!
7. Where do you practise DJing?
What you told us: You nearly all practise at home, and mainly in bedrooms, followed by in a home office or studio. Quite a few of you are lucky enough to be able to practise in a public place like a club or bar, and some in a real studio. Also, you told us (in the comments section to this question, not shown) that many of you practise in student dorms.
What we think: The bedroom DJs among you obviously mainly live at home. The home office / home studio / living room DJs are probably an older bunch of readers. And the semi-pro / pro readers are those who practise away from home. However, we ought to cover setting up a home / bedroom studio in the future, now we know that’s where so many of you do your practising.
We also realised from this question that we have plenty of student DJs who practise in shared accommodation / dorms. We’ll write some stuff just for you guys at some point.
8. What type or types of equipment do you play on at home?
What you told us: The vast majority of you DJ with your laptop plus some kind of controller or controllers. That’s not surprising – it’s what Digital DJ Tips was set up to cover. However, nearly a quarter of you DJ with just a laptop. What’s also illuminating is that 20% of you have a vinyl DVS system (ie Serato Scratch, Traktor Scratch) at home, using real record decks to play your MP3s on. We still have some pure vinyl/CD DJs who drop by, too.
What we think: We think many of you begin with just a laptop, get hooked, then buy a controller. That’s why we’re going to be launching a How To DJ Properly With Just a Laptop publication this year. We also think we’ve got the coverage here about right – overwhelmingly in favour of controllerism.
However, with 1 in 5 readers using digital vinyl systems, should we also be covering them (we don’t really do that at all right now)? Something to think about. Tell us what you think, too.
9. What type of computer do you run your DJ software on?
What you told us: You’re a bunch of laptop users. Nearly all of you DJ with a laptop. Of those who don’t, a desktop computer is your choice (many of you have both). Just a few of you are starting to DJ with the iPad.
What we think: We could re-strapline the site “How to DJ properly with laptops and controllers”! That’s clearly what you guys do. However, the desktop PC has its place, and it’s probably our DJ/producers who make up the numbers there, who want bigger screens and more power. Will be interesting to see how the iPad figure changes in next year’s poll.
We’re going to carry more iPod stuff basically because it’s exciting and we thing we can expand our readers as more and more tablet PCs are sold and thus used for DJing.
10. What brand is your computer?
What you told us: You love Apple! More than half of you use Apple Mac laptops. Of the Windows PCs, HP and Dell are your favourites.
What we think: This surprised us. Apples are great, but expensive. It seems, though, that all the arguments as to why Apple computers are better for DJing have won you over, as you certainly seem to be prepared to save up for this brand over the others.
We will make sure we always think of Apple and Windows users equally, and ensure that all of our material covers both operating systems where possible. Also, now we know the brands of laptop you buy, it will help us with our buyer’s guides. We think a good laptop buyer’s guide is long overdue.
11. What type of DJ software do you use?
What you told us: You’re mainly Traktor Pro users, with Virtual DJ also very popular. Ableton live is your third most used software, with the DVS software (of which you prefer Traktor over Serato) and Serato ITCH bringing up the rear.
What we think: We need to carry Traktor and Virtual DJ-specific articles; between them, they account for most of your traditional DJ software use. We also need to run articles on Ableton, as lots of you are pushing things further DJing with this – that surprised us, but in a good way.
Again, we have to think about whether we cover DVS systems as they’re plainly popular with a sizable minority of you – and it’s clear that another sizable minority of you love Serato ITCH controllers and software. We’ll make sure we carry stuff specially for you too.
12. Do you use iTunes to manage your music collection?
What you told us: Clearly, a whopping three-quarters of you rely on iTunes for music organisation.
What we think: Maybe not too surprising seeing half of you are Mac users. However, we’re pleased so many of you use software outside of your DJ software to manage your music – it puts you in the right mindset to not get overwhelmed by digital files. We’ll continue to carry articles on tagging, organising and managing your music collection.
However, we’ll also bear in mind that 25% of you don’t use iTunes to manage your music. Of those, some don’t use anything at all, while the most popular other 2 music library programs are WinAmp and MediaMonkey. Get ready for some guides on that software too.
13. What other software do you use?
What you told us: You love Mixed in Key! A lot of you use this deceptively simple piece of software to make harmonic mixing easier. Platinum Notes is your next favourite additional piece of software (from the same company). All of the other pieces of software we mentioned were popular enough too, except TidySongs.
We should have included Audacity, Rapid Evolution and MP3Tag in the choices though, as several of you told us you use those in the additional comments to this question.
What we think: We can happily carry articles on any of the above, and will make sure we do so this year. We were amazed at how popular Mixed in Key is – amazed and pleased, as mixing in key is simple with quick analysis software like this. The fact that your second most popular piece of additional software was Platinum Notes – designed to help improve the quality of your music files – is really encouraging too.
14. What type of headphones do you use?
What you told us: You overwhelmingly use full-sized headphones. Around 10% of you use compact headphones and another 10% use in-ear phones – and some of you claim to never use them at all (that makes you waveriders…)!
What we think: We love innovative headphones. With small digital gear, we think: Why not have equally compact headphones (as long as they do the job)? However, you simply don’t agree with us. You love your big phones!
Maybe it is because they simply make a person “look” more like a DJ, maybe of course because it is easier with complete over-ear isolation to beat mix etc, but whatever the reason – we hear you. We’ll make sure when it come to headphones, we cover the “real” DJ phones much more than the alternatives.
15. What are the main type of amplifier/speakers you play your DJ equipment through at home?
What you told us: The majority of you use a mixture of your current home stereo speakers, special powered DJ or studio monitors, and external computer speakers. A few of you use a PA system at home, with fewer still using a home cinema system or more elaborate separate studio speakers & amp.
What we think: Your main choices make sense to us – if you have speakers for general listening and/or your PC, they can easily double-up as your DJ speakers, and of course DJ speakers can double up as iTunes and/or PC speakers. Why have two pairs? There are great quality speakers in all these categories. We should cover good home stereo systems as well as powered studio monitors in future articles, as plenty of you are using them.
Many DJs have their own kit for DJing out on – eg PA system and lights. You’ve made us realise that this includes you, too (because nearly 10% of you DJ through PA speakers). We should definitely look at PA system basics and while we’re at it, lighting. Mobile digital DJs especially need to know about this stuff.
16. Where do you get your music from?
What you told us: Beatport and iTunes the most popular shop by far. Of the “free” music sources, 40% of you are happy to get music from blogs, although 1 in 4 of you never do. And while 1 in 3 of you admit to using filesharing sites often, 50% of you rarely or never do. SoundCloud is fairly popular. you also use digital record pools (which you told us in the comments, because we didn’t include it in the choices).
What we think: We think most of you buy some music and get some for free. We’re not judging, just saying. While we won’t carry articles on free music sources, nonetheless it is easier to defend blogs than straight P2P – which may explain why more of you are happy to use music blogs than blatant filesharing to obtain hard-to-get music.
We think we should carry articles on how to “power use” Beatport and iTunes. It is also clear to us that you buy your music online from many different specialist stores – maybe it’s time for a comprehensive round-up of them.
Also, in the comments, a few of you mentioned music subscription services like Rhapsody – we’ll keep an eye on these ways of getting unlimited music for a fixed fee, with a view to covering them at some point if they start to look promising for lots of our readers.
Next Thursday we’ll look at what you thought of Digital DJ Tips. You didn’t hold back – you’ve told us all the good bits, and plenty of not-quite-so-good bits too!
We’re going to spend the next week chewing through what you’ve said, all your suggestions, praise and criticism, and publish the best parts in your own words – along with what we are going to do to address some of your requests.
See you then!
Did any of these results surprise you? What do you think they tell us about the readership of this blog? And what would you like to see covered that we don’t currently cover? Let us know in the comments…