DJing in 2019: 15 Revealing Facts From Our Global Survey

| Read time: 6 mins
Club/Festival DJing Global Digital DJ Census Pro
Last updated 14 February, 2019

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Our latest Global Digital DJ Census had our largest turnout yet: a record-breaking 36,014 respondents, officially making it the largest global survey of DJs, and a great reflection of the current state of DJing.

We’re sharing the full results this week with our industry partners, and in this piece we’re giving you some key highlights.

Want to know what DJ software is the most popular among you readers? How many DJs do it for a living, and how many do it for fun? What’s the average age of a Digital DJ Tips reader? You’ll find out below.

Thank you, industry…

We couldn’t do this each year without the generous support of the DJ industry in providing prizes for the associated draw. So thanks to Pioneer DJ (prime sponsor this year), plus Native Instruments, Denon DJ, Roland, Reloop, Rane, Numark, Hercules, and Algoriddim. You guys are awesome! 🙂

Survey Results

1. What is your age?

The bulk of our readers fall between the 25-44 age range, and it’s cool to see Gen-Zers and younger millennials in the 18-24 bracket following suit. We’ve been an online DJ school for over eight years now, and it makes us feel warm and fuzzy to know that some of you have grown (aged?) along with us – shout out to all our readers 45 years and older! DJs only get better with age (or so I’m told ;)).


2. Which country do you currently reside in?

Most of you currently live in the US and UK, with India, Canada and Australia rounding out the top five countries. It’s great to see my motherland The Philippines in the top 10 for the first time ever – we are the only Southeast Asian country in the list.


3. What is your employment status?

A huge chunk of our readers are in full-time employment – a good balance to the somewhat chaotic #djlife consisting of late nights and partying. Students come in next (someone’s gotta play those college parties!) followed by freelancers, self-employed folk and part-time workers.


4. What percentage of your income comes from DJing?

Over 30% of you DJ for fun or as a hobby, meaning you don’t do it to earn a living. For you, DJing is likely an escape from life’s responsibilities. A lot of you at least earn a part-time income from it too. On the other end of the spectrum, there are a handful (under 10%) who make 75-100% of their income from DJing, which is awesome! We’re firm believers in the saying “do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”.


5. How long have you been DJing for?

Almost half of our respondents have been DJing for over five years, a serious amount of time for any activity. This is followed by new DJs who have been spinning for five years and under, along with those who have literally just started. Welcome to our manic, ever-changing, and slightly nocturnal (unless you live near the beach) world! Interestingly, we’ve seen that “five years plus” figure grow as we’ve grown as a school.


6. How often do you play in public?

Getting out of your bedroom and playing in front of people is important – it’s what DJing is all about. This year, 30% of our readers said that they gig out every now and then. They’re followed by those who have regular gigs, whether those are club residencies or weekly shows at bars and pubs. A significant chunk (15%) said they’ve never played out yet – if you’re part of that number, maybe getting gigs is something to add to your 2019 resolutions?


7. What type of DJ are you?

Almost 20% of our respondents are hobbyist and bedroom DJs – basically folk who enjoy playing music at home. They’re followed by DJ/producers as well as mobile/professional DJs who do functions and the wedding circuit. In fourth place are club/resident DJs who play out regularly.


8. How would you describe your DJ skill level?

Confidence behind the decks is key to being a successful DJ, and we’re pleased to see that 60% of our readers are confident but have the mindset of a learner. There’s so much to learn about DJing, and since it deals with performing for people, that just means DJing is in a constant change of flux that’s in sync with culture. The more you think you know, the more there actually is to learn!


9. What musical instruments do you play?

More than half of our readers say they play a musical instrument, and based on the chart above, piano/keys are the most popular, and with good reason: even a basic knowledge of the piano can help immensely in fast tracking the music production process. The next most popular instrument is the guitar (disco / Chic and Daft Punk lovers no doubt), followed by drums (unsurprising because dance music is built on drum beats).


10. What’s your main DJ set-up?

A laptop and a DJ controller is still the set-up of choice for our readers: not surprising because it’s great to start on and is the most cost-effective option. This is followed nowadays by all-in-one systems like the Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX2 and Denon DJ MCX8000, with CDJ-style club set-ups in third place.


11. Which of these do you have and use regularly?

There are more Windows users in our audience compared to Mac users, with over 60% saying they use PC laptops / desktops. There are also more Android smartphone users compared to iPhone owners – both results are consistent with past surveys, proving that while there are many iOS-exclusive apps, it makes sense for developers to start porting them over to Android too.


12. What software do you use to DJ?

It’s no surprise to see the “big four” DJ apps as the top four in our survey: Serato DJ tops the list with over 30% of our readers saying they use it, followed by Rekordbox who climbed to the number two spot. Traktor goes down to third place, despite the Traktor Pro 3 update and Traktor Kontrol S4 Mk3 and Traktor Kontrol S2 Mk3 controllers. We’ll have to wait and see if the new Traktor kit brings some digital DJs back into the NI fold later this year. Virtual DJ holds steady.


13. Which of these best describes your DJ style?

Open-format DJing is currently having its time in the sun, and it shows: a massive 60% of you spin and play multi-genre party DJ sets. Next up are single-genre / focused DJs who specialise in a certain style like house, EDM, and hip-hop, followed by personality / wedding DJs.


14. What’s the one genre you mostly play when DJing?

Speaking of hip-hop, urban music claims the top spot in this year’s census when it comes to music played during gigs. It’s followed by EDM / big room house music (for the festival-goers and clubbers). Both these styles continue to be the dominant genres that our readers play, though house and techno are not far behind – and house styles if added up together are arguably the biggest category.


15. Which DJ download pools do you subscribe to?

Around 29% of our respondents say they subscribe to a DJ record / download pool. There are so many great DJ edits and remixes that can only be found in download pools, so we highly recommend the rest of you subscribing to at least one! Over 30% of those respondents said they were subscribed to BPM Supreme followed by DJ City, both of which are excellent pools.

Finally…

One of the most awesome things about DJing is how much it is intertwined with both technology and dance culture. We’re seeing a gradual rise in interest when it comes to all-in-one DJ systems, and we expect that to rise further this year with the introduction of the Denon DJ Prime 4 system.

Some things change faster: Rekordbox has jumped to second place as far as DJ software popularity among our readers goes, with Traktor shuffling down to third place and Virtual DJ to fourth.

We’re only in February, and already we’ve seen some truly amazing stuff at the NAMM Show, and this year is sure to have even more sweet gear in store. As always, we’ll be here giving you the latest and the greatest coverage on everything DJ-related this 2019.

What are your thoughts on these results? What questions would you want added in this year’s census? Let us know in the comments.

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