For those of you who don’t know, one of the best known DJ mix hosting sites in the world, Mixcrate, voluntarily shut itself down over the weekend, due to a letter received from “a respected entity in the record industry”. Its closure contains lessons for all DJs. Because while Mixcrate closing is sad, for DJs relying on it and slowly building a fanbase on Mixcrate, this is potentially catastrophic – yet avoidable.
What to learn from the closure of Mixcrate
- Pick your mix streaming service wisely – The whole point of uploading your DJ mixes to an online service is to get them out to the world, and also to preserve them forever – a bit like a “cloud backup”. But if you don’t pick carefully, the service you choose may not be there tomorrow. Currently, Mixcloud is the only service we recommend, for precisely this purpose – it is 100% legal
- Don’t rely on your online service as your only backup – You absolutely must keep your mixes locally somewhere (eg on your machine, on a backup hard disc), but also, you should keep them in the cloud too, privately, for your own peace of mind. Amazon Cloud, Google Drive, iCloud – whatever, just make sure you have backups in case your online service closes
- Have your own website – If you have your own website, where you have nice artwork, biography information about you, and links to your mixes on the service you use, at least should that service close down, you can just upload your mixes to a different service (or even host them yourself), and put the new links into your website. The world can still access your mixes, which is the idea in the first place
- Encourage your followers to share contact details with you – Mixcrate prided itself on community, but that community has now gone. When people stream and like your mix, it’s extremely important to encourage them to (ideally) share their email address with you. Nobody can take away an email list of followers from you – that’s an incredible asset to have
- Keep an eye open for changing industry circumstances – Time and time again DJs have been stung like this. Facebook Live used to be great for streaming DJ mixes, now people are getting slapped for doing just that. SoundCloud used to be a hotbed of creative mixing, now you’re lucky if you can even get past the uploading stage before they remove your mix. But equally, there are good things going on out there, with new technologies like fingerprinting of tracks on DJ mixes meaning that new hosting services may well pop up, and also the exciting news that DJ mixes should be uploadable legally to Apple Music and Spotify in the near future. Spotting these trends and adjusting your tactics accordingly is important
Like picking the sickest-looking puppy at the kennels because you feel sorry for it, putting your DJ mixes on a service that isn’t the most likely to live a long and full life is going to cause you a lot of pain down the line. Choose wisely, and do all the other things stated above too, and at least you’ll be able to minimise any damage to your DJ career when the mix hosting environment out there changes.
Did you find your mixes disappear thanks to Mixcrate closing down? Have you got any other legal services you’d like to recommend? How do you deal with this in your own promotion? Please share your thoughts in the comments.