Streaming is coming back to Serato. While we’ve been here reporting from ADE 2018, the company has announced that it will soon be possible to stream directly from Tidal and SoundCloud from within both Serato DJ Pro and Serato DJ Lite. It is the first time streaming has been available within Serato since the demise of Pulselocker.
Listen to this story
Ask Alexa for your DJ technology news every weekday – show me how
DJing with streamed tracks will look and feel like playing regular music files. “Saved playlists on the streaming platforms will automatically appear in the Serato DJ library as separate playlists.” says Serato.
In addition, Serato users will get access to “exclusive playlists” curated by Serato. “Each playlist will be updated monthly, ranging from warm-up selections to dancefloor bangers,” they say.
While Serato has clarified to us that you won’t be able to cache whole playlists offline as you could with Pulselocker (at least not immediately), we are assuming that the software will load full tracks onto your decks before you can play them, meaning that should the internet go down, the track you’re currently playing will still play.
Users will need a SoundCloud Go+ account and there is a 30-day free trial available from Soundcloud for DJs who wish to try it out and see if it’s for them.
SoundCloud is a huge platform for DJs of course, with 25 million creators sharing their work on there – we know of DJs who ONLY DJ with music they find on SoundCloud, such is the range of tracks on there that aren’t available anywhere else, including the type of community-uploaded edits, remixes and unreleased content that DJs love.
Again, new customers are eligible for a free 30-day trial – which is just as well, because Tidal hasn’t reached the heights of the “big two” of Apple Music and Spotify.
Tidal is known for its “HiFi” tier, that delivers lossless FLAC files – although at a price premium (it is $19.99 a month against half of that for the standard service). The big question for us around Tidal is how long it will hold out against the big competition.
So while pros and purists might scoff, this is a huge leap for everyone else. Having access to your music library (sorry, purists, but most people nowadays organise their music inside a streaming service or two), especially when one of those sources is SoundCloud, is a huge deal.
What is interesting is that there are TWO services being announced, and that one of them is Tidal (not Spotify, or Apple Music). This indicates that as DJ apps such as Serato start to align themselves with streaming services, they won’t be tying themselves to a single streaming source.
Combined with the face that Beatport is about to launch its own such service designed to be plugged into DJ apps in the same way, pretty soon we expect Serato to add more such integrations. After all, there’s no real reason to prefer Tidal over the “big two” mainstream services, so it has to be down to licensing and timing. We can see a time when all such services are plugged in, which will bring amazing possibilities.
Anyone who uses Sonos, for instance, will be aware of how its app allows the user to plug in multiple services, and search across the lot of them in one go – having something similar in a DJ app would be a game changer, and it is clear to us that it is not a question of if, but when.
One note of caution though, is sounded by the use of the wording “separate playlists” in the sentence from the press release quoted above. Word-for-word it says: “Saved playlists on the streaming platforms will automatically appear in the Serato DJ library as separate playlists.”
DJs like to organise their music into ad hoc playlists, and if the fact that the ultimate source of a track is a streaming service and not a local file means that this isn’t going to be possible, it will be a handicap. We’ll have to wait and see for now. More when we have it.
So what do you think about streaming returning to Serato? What are your worries about all of this? Will you be jumping on board? Let us know your thoughts!