DJ livestreaming is officially a thing. Every record label worth its salt seems to be sending its most likely DJs to the top of windswept mountains complete with drones, multi-camera angles (and generators and production crew hidden in nearby bushes).
But where to livestream your DJ sets? While the usual platform for “pro” livestreams is YouTube, the reality is that all the tracks playing there have been cleared beforehand – a bane for many of us hobby livestreamers (also those streams are often not really ever “live”, just presented that way).
You could alternatively stream on Twitch – technically you’re not allowed to, but as long as you don’t care about the recording (which will often be muted), it currently works.
Read this next: The Ultimate Guide To DJ Livestreaming
And then there is Mixcloud Live – the 100% legal platform with all the right licensing in place, meaning you can stream without worry there. They will only save an audio recording for you, and you have to pay a subscription fee (some of which, of course, is used to compensate the artists) – but here at Digital DJ Tips, we are 100% behind Mixcloud because they actually have your back as a livestreamer.
However, of late, other platforms have either appeared or come back onto our radar. So today, let’s look at three. We haven’t streamed on any of these (or not for a long time), but in the interest of advancing this new side of our hobby, we thought we’d share them with you anyway!
3 Alternative DJ livestream sites
1. Bandlab Live
A few years a go, a promising startup called chew.tv was the first livestreaming platform by DJs, for DJs. It was somewhat ahead of its time, and eventually was bought by Bandlab, which is “a cloud platform where musicians and fans create music, collaborate and engage with each other across the globe”.
“Bandlab Live” was the new name for the service, but it went VERY quiet. However it is still there – as a Bandlab member you grab an RTMP server address and stream key from your home page, and you “go live” within the Bandlab community. We have got DJs in our own community who say they’ve been using it to go live successfully.
I did reach out to Bandlab to check on the legal situation for DJs and try to engage with them, but haven’t heard anything back from them. Worth a look, though, especially if you are already a member (it appears to be free to use the streaming service).
• Sign up for Bandlab to give it a go at its official website.
This site calls itself “the official home of DJ streaming”, but looks half-finished to us, with little documentation or explanation on the site, which is why we haven’t properly reviewed it. It’ll either sink, or get enough traction and polish to be worth your time – at which point we’ll give it a proper look.
It certainly made the right noises on launch, giving DJs their own pages, a chance to monetise with tips, pay-per-view and subscriptions, and so on. But if you’ve ever tried Mixcloud and felt there weren’t many potential viewers about, this is worse – we struggled to find streams with more than a handful of viewers when we explored it.
Learn to DJ livestream with us: DJ Livestreaming Made Easy
Also, whether or not it is legal (ie paying the right licences as Mixcloud does) we just don’t know – and it doesn’t seem to be hugely popular despite having been around since April 2020. Still, possibly worth a look!
• Find out more about PlayDJ.TV on its website.
3. Clubbing TV
Clubbing and electronic music channel Clubbing TV has launched a “new interactive livestreaming platform, Clubbing.live, specifically catering for DJ sets”.
They tell us that the service “was born out of frustration after popular streaming platforms – such as Twitch and YouTube – have prevented DJs from performing livestreamed sets because they don’t own the rights to the tracks they use.”
The platform is apparently available to both emerging and professional DJs looking to host their sets. Performers on Clubbing.live could also be selected for broadcast on the Clubbing TV channel, which is currently aired in more than 50 countries around the world.
The channel is only a week old at the time of writing so there is little info or feedback from users yet, but you can find out more on the Clubbing TV website.
DJ livestreaming is still a bit of a Wild West. And when it comes to where to livestream your DJ sets, there is no 100% definitive answer.
Twitch is pushing DJ streams hard while simultaneously clobbering DJs over the head who do it, Facebook and Instagram remain no-go zones, and so on – but we are optimistic it will settle down into an awesome way for everyday DJs to spin to audiences, minus the technical and copyright worries that sometimes accompany doing it.
You could always hedge your bets and use a platform like restream.tv to stream to multiple platforms at once – that way you can aggregate your viewers across the lot.
Let us know your thoughts about the above in the comments – and ask any questions you like, we’d be happy to try and help.
• If you want to learn more about how to DJ livestream, whether from just your phone or a full studio, check out our Ultimate Guide To DJ Livestreaming – or if you’d like us to teach you (we livestream to 1000s several times a week), grab a copy of our DJ Livestreaming Made Easy course.