A sale of Traktor by Native Instruments could be imminent, according to multiple sources. That’s what’s being reported by US DJ store, DJ Tech Tools, traditionally a company close to Traktor.
The company reports that representatives from Allen & Heath have visited Berlin to work on the deal – although it points out that these are just “strong rumours” at this time, and that any eventual buyer may not turn out to be Allen & Heath.
What would this mean for Traktor?
If this does indeed happen, it will be the latest chapter in a tumultuous few years for Traktor. While the brand has seen sporadic investment and development, with new hardware and long wished-for updates to its flagship DJ product Traktor Pro, it still faces a series of challenges.
The Traktor Pro software is old and creaky, lacking expected modern features such as streaming services and flexible beatgridding – a situation Traktor itself acknowledges.
The solution for this was meant to be the development of Traktor DJ 2, a new, multi-platform DJ solution built on a more modern code base and intended eventually to replace Traktor Pro.
But maybe because Native Instruments, the parent company, has been facing considerable issues of its own, development has been slow, meaning Traktor as a brand now has not one but two software products which aren’t, we guess, where it would want them to be.
This is a situation that can only be causing market confusion, and needs sorting out.
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And with no new hardware currently being developed by Native Instruments for Traktor, it would make sense to partner up with a hardware company to fix that issue. After all, nowadays Pioneer DJ has its own hardware and software, same for inMusic (home of Denon DJ, Rane and Numark) with its Engine platform, and Serato is very close to its hardware providers such as Roland and indeed Pioneer DJ.
Allen & Heath has strong brand crossover with Traktor’s user base in electronic music, but whether Allen & Heath or its parent company would make the investment available to truly turn Traktor around and re-establish it as a strong niche product (or even a mainstream DJ platform once more) remains to be seen – as indeed does confirmation of whether these rumours are correct, and what any deal would eventually look like.
For instance, a hardware partnership (along the lines of those Serato has with its partners) may work well for both companies, without the need for an outright sale.
Moving Traktor on, though, would on measure seem to be a good idea for both Native Instruments and Traktor itself, as far as the product is concerned – but would be yet more upheaval for the Traktor team. Let’s hope if something is afoot, it turns out well for all concerned.
We’ve reached out to our contacts at Traktor but they said there is nothing they can comment on “at the moment”, so we’ll keep you informed as and when we hear more.