Digital DJ Tips 2012 Reader Survey Results

Phil Morse | Read time: 6 mins
reader survey 2012
Last updated 16 November, 2017


Twenty years ago, practically all DJs were spinning vinyl. Boy how that's fragmented! Find out the gear, music, software, venues, and more of our readership in today's survey results...
Twenty years ago, practically all DJs were spinning vinyl. Boy how that’s fragmented! Find out the gear, music, software, venues, and more of our readership in today’s survey results…

Want to know where you fit in among the overall readership of Digital DJ Tips? A few weeks ago we conducted our biggest-ever reader survey in conjunction with Native Instruments, who offered Traktor hardware and software as prizes. Nearly 5,000 of you took part in the survey, and today we have the results for you.

You probably won’t be surprised that 97% of you are male, but you may be surprised that the biggest single age group among our readers is 30-39 year olds. The full results appear below.

Reader survey 2012


Nearly half of our readers are in the United States and Canada, both due to the huge population of North America combined and – of course – to the recent explosion in electronic dance music (or “EDM”) in the US. By continent, though, there are about as many readers in Europe (of which the UK is our largest market, and of course which is no stranger to dance explosions itself) as in the Americas as a whole. Relatively smaller proportions of our readers are from Asia, Australasia and Africa, in that order.



It may surprise you to see all age groups represented on Digital DJ Tips, but not us – we’ve long known that as well as new DJs, starting out on digital, we have a huge audience returning to the craft as digital DJs many years after hanging up their headphones as vinyl guys. There are also plenty of DJs making the switch at all other age points.


Most of you class yourselves as beginner to intermediate DJs – no surprise really as our How To Digital DJ Fast beginner DJ course attracts a lot of traffic to this site. But we do have our fair share of advanced and expert jocks among us. It’s one reason why I think we’re so strong in teaching new DJs – there’s lots of talent on tap to chip in and help out!



Reflecting people’s skill levels, we’ve got DJs just starting out, DJs who’ve been doing it for decades, and everyone in-between! Again, the breadth of time behind the decks among our readers is something we really enjoy, as having such wide input enrichens the debate and makes our content ultimately more useful to all DJs, whatever their age.


Most of you DJ as a hobby, but a significant proportion of you are semi-pro DJs, with a reasonable number of pros among our reach too. I expect that “pro” category will creep up over the coming years, as many of our committed amateurs start setting up as pro DJs… then again, our readership is growing awfully fast, and I suspect most of the new readers are just starting out, so who knows?



It’s great when you’re in a big gang of music loving DJs, but that’s not always the case, and often DJs find themselves with only one or two other friends or mentors who are interested in what they do for a hobby or living. It’s when the answer is “none”, though, that we feel our forum, comments, Facebook page and training can really help to connect people who otherwise might have nobody they regular talk about their DJing to.


We wanted to know this to gauge the importance of our mobile site, as well as to find out how many of you potentially have a device you can DJ on that isn’t your laptop. The answers here confirmed our suspicion that we’ve got an awful lot of mobile device users, and that you’re very Apple-centric. Which leads us on to the next question:



Most of our iPad owning DJs are either already using a DJ app on their devices, or at least open to the idea. Of those who gave an absolute “no”, we think as hardware becomes more compatible with iPad DJ apps, that already relatively small number will drop further.


No surprises that Beatport comes out on top here, but it’s also clear that people have almost as wide a choice of preferred stores as type of DJ out there. I’d take some of the numbers with a pinch of salt though, purely because a lot of people don’t admit to piracy; I suspect that the percentage that thinks it’s OK to steal music is higher than the filesharing segment indicates, if the feeling I get from my day-to-day private interaction with DJs is anything to go by.



It’s one of the big skills of DJing nowadays, production – or rather, “production lite” (remixing, mashups, re-edits etc). It’s therefore no surprise that we’ve got an aspirational readership in this area – bluntly, to get on nowadays, you have to produce.


No surprise to see Ableton Live as the top choice for DJ/producers, as its clip-based workflow suits dance music fantastically, and it blurs the line between production and performance nicely too. FL Studio (formerly FruityLoops) remains a massively popular package, and rightfully so, as it often doesn’t get the props it deserves – many global hits have been made with this software.



Wow! Samples, effects, hot cues, sampling, remixing – there’s nothing you lot won’t have a go at to get ahead. any why not? The power of modern digital DJing software and the flexibility of the hardware means that whatever’s in your head is more than ever something you can at least have a go at getting onto the dancefloor. The days of simple beatmixing all night long do clearly seem to be something we’re moving rapidly away from as digital matures…


Traktor is the most popular software among our readers, although I think the above overplays Traktor and underplays the other programs, probably being due to Traktor fans wanting to win the Traktor gear that was the prize in the draw attached to this survey! In our last reader survey, Traktor was 41%, Virtual DJ 25%, Ableton 22%, Serato ITCH 14%, Serato Scratch Live 11%, djay 7% (it added up to more that 100% because some people used more than one program) which I think is probably truer.



I love the fact that you guys are using extra material to DJ with. One of my personal projects for the winter (as my DJ sets happen to be in the summer) is to put together sets of clips in different keys to spice up my my multi-genre DJ sets and make my mixing more inventive.


What do you DJ with?

Not surprising that most of our DJs are controller users, but interesting that over a quarter of our readers are still using CDJs and turntables. iPad, for all the hype, is still a small percentage of our overall readership, at least as far as its use as a primary controller goes.



Type of controller?
No surprises that most of our users have a two-channel all-in-one unit, but it’s good to see four-channel controllers have made a massive inroad in the past 12 months too. “Add on / deck controller” means devices usually used by digital vinyl DJs, although sometimes on their own, such as the Traktor Kontrol X1 or Allen & Heath K2, very often to add Midi controls where otherwise such DJs would have to revert to keyboard use.


Why prefer digital?
I love this question, because it shows that we’re all different – we have widely differing reasons for preferring digital DJing over other forms, which of course is something that reflects in our music and DJ styles too.



Why prefer vinyl?
Great info here for digital DJ equipment manufacturers, as vinyl lovers explain why they stick with doing things the old way. The biggest percentage – those who prefer the feel of mixing with vinyl – are probably going to be the hardest to sway, although the Denon DJ SC3900 and Numark NS7 get mighty close…


Why prefer CDs?
Again lots of reasons for sticking with DJing using the gear that’s already in clubs and other venues. With controllers such as Pioneer’s CDJ-2000nexus getting very close to DJ software features-wise, I think those who are happy with CDJ-DJing now may never switch…



Why prefer DVS?
DVS, or “digital vinyl”, is when you adapt existing DJ gear to also work with laptops – think Traktor Scratch and Serato Scratch Live. Not surprisingly (seeing this is a halfway-house solution by design), we find of our readership who use DVS, it’s the ability to use digital but retain the analogue feel, and the ability to mix vinyl/CDs and digital easily, that keeps DVS DJs doing what they do.


Where do you usually DJ?
As our stated aim here at Digital DJ Tips is to teach people to DJ beyond the bedroom, it’s I suppose gratifying to see we’re hitting our target market – but the game is on because we truly, madly, deeply want to move you bedroom guys up into the private party section, from where it’s easier to make the leap into public venues, bars, lounges, clubs…



Preferred music styles
With electronic music the significant minority of our audience, it’s still worth nothing that around half of our readership plays a whole mix of other styles. DJing is not, simply not, only about button mashing the latest beatgridded EDM, not by a long shot – and our readership proves that.




It’s wonderful you are using a whole mix of gear and software to perform your DJ sets on. And it’s great to have pop, rock, hip hop and a myriad other styles of DJ represented in our broad readership too, alongside the dominant electronic dance music DJs.

Club, mobile, lounge, party, radio, bedroom… we’ll continue to try and include everyone. But we certainly make no apologies about pushing the benefits of digital, and we’ll definitely be coaxing you to do it in front of a crowd if you don’t already – that’s where it all really, truly happens folks.

• Thanks to everyone who took part in the survey. We’ve gained some valuable insights into who you are and what motivates you to DJ the way you do, and your answers will help us to ensure our content over the next 12 months serves you even more tightly than previously.

Anything here surprise you? Anything confirm stuff you already thought? Anything particularly stand out? Please share your thoughts on our survey in the comments.


DJ Jazzy Jeff Course