A private equity firm has acquired a majority shareholding in Native Instruments, the makers of Traktor DJ software, from existing owner EMH Partners and from the company’s original founders. It’s a move that new owner Francisco Partners says gives Native Instruments “significant resources to further consolidate the fragmented music creation software industry and create a more seamless user experience for music makers”.
By its own account, Native Instruments has thrived in recent years, despite the large-scale redundancies of 2019, with revenues up 60% and user base doubled to 1.5 million – but that growth appears to be from the company’s “music creation tools”. Furthermore, DJing was not specifically mentioned as part of the plan going forward in the press release from the new majority owners.
So what about Traktor?
In truth, it appears that Traktor has been sidelined from the rest of Native Instruments in recent times. But far from being a bad thing, this actually has led to a flurry of development and progress – although not at the pace most users have wished for.
Following yesterday’s announcement, Traktor lead Pedram Faghfouri posted in the NI Traktor forum to reassure users that work on Traktor Pro 3 (for instance to achieve compatibility with macOS Big Sur and Apple Silicon M1 computers) is continuing.
But the bigger question is: Will Traktor get the investment it would need to keep up with the three dominant hardware/software DJ choices out there, namely Serato and its partners, Pioneer DJ/Rekordbox, and Denon DJ/Engine?
In recent times there have been rumours of a purchase of the Traktor division by the owners of Allen & Heath, something broadly welcomed by the Traktor user base.
Learn to DJ on Traktor, with us: Traktor Made Easy
If Traktor is indeed not really part of the plans of the new ownership, how does this sale affect its future? It is clear Traktor needs more than a dedicated team behind it to survive: It needs money and an ambitious plan for its future. Is the Allen & Heath deal still likely, if ever it was? Or is there another twist we are not yet aware of?
We reached out to Traktor for comment, and this is what Pedram Faghfouri had to say to us: “We’re all hoping (and working on) good things to happen with the right partners soon. We’re in a good shape now that we’ve recovered from the layoffs you were mentioning, hiring more colleagues again and agreeing on roadmaps and plans.
“There’ll be a more frequent stream of information updates in the forums moving forward. We want to engage closer with the community again.”
Stay tuned to Digital DJ Tips, because we’ll be the first to let you know all the developments with Traktor just as soon as they tell us anything more.