2014 was a really exciting year for DJing as a whole, with EDM pushing the whole thing mainstream stateside, exciting advances in gear and software, as well as a few shake-ups in the industry (Denon ending up under the inMusic banner as stablemate of Numark, and Vestax sadly going bankrupt). But what will 2015 bring? Here are a few predictions:
- More consolidation of DJ gear manufacturers – Only the strong will survive. Vestax has already gone. Expect others to disappear or withdraw from DJ gear manufacture as the big names tighten their grip on the market and on the marketing partnerships that are available. As long as there are three or four big names, though, this is probably a good thing, meaning less confusion in the marketplace and still enough competition to keep prices down an innovation high. Speaking of innovation…
- More “laptop optional” mainstream DJ systems – Every manufacturer will want screens on their controllers, and surely someone will come up with a DJ system that doesn’t need a computer at all, but that still runs one of the “big” software programs (unlike the Stanton SCS.4DJ, which achieved this, but with non-standard software). Maybe Cross DJ running on embedded Android?
- More music streaming “built in” to DJ software – djay and Virtual DJ already have streaming services built in, and surely these programs are only the start. As more music is now streamed than actually downloaded, DJ software is really playing catch-up right now. With Beatport relaunching itself as a streaming service, is it too much of a leap to expect, say, Traktor to come with Beatport streaming built in? We don’t think so…
- At least one DJ program to disappear – Serato has its niche: It “just works”, is tightly licensed, and has turntablist pedigree. Traktor is going hard for the DJ/producer market. Virtual DJ remains very strong as a “disruptor”, functioning with everyone else’s hardware, DVS etc and to a very high standard. All three are in powerful positions. What of the others, though? Just like with the gear, expect at least one casualty this year among programs struggling to differentiate themselves
- The dance scene will continue to grow – Just like rock’n’roll arrived and never went away despite decades of doomsayers, dance music and DJ culture are now engrained. With America “cracked” and on board, dance music is now part of the establishment, and DJing and DJ culture are here to stay globally. This makes 2015 a truly exciting time, almost a “year zero”. Sure, it all changed a hell of a lot to get to this point, but it’s still dance music, and what happens next will be mighty interesting
What do you think? What are your predictions for 2015, and how do you feel about ours? Please share your thoughts in the comments.