Here Are The Results From Our 2023 Census, The Biggest DJ Survey In The World

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 3 mins

As a leading global DJ school, every year here at Digital DJ Tips we conduct a unique survey with you, our community. We take a snapshot of your DJing, the gear you use, your favourite software and music, your aspirations, and more.

We do this both to help us better serve you by knowing you as well as possible, but also to share the results with both the wider DJing industry, and of course with you.

So here it is: The Global DJ Census 2023, easily the biggest survey of its type conducted anywhere. Here we’re publishing the highlights of the results of that survey. Scroll on for a revealing look at where the industry is at, and where it is headed – at least, as far as you, the nearly 20,000 people from our community who completed this year’s Census are concerned. Thanks to all of you for being a part of it.

Alongside the census, we run a prize draw, which is contributed to by many major names in the DJ tech world. So this year we’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Pioneer DJ, Denon DJ, Focusrite Novation, Rane, Alto Professional, ADAM Audio and Numark for your generous contribution of amazing prizes.

Obtaining the full survey results PDF

In this article, we are running the highlights of the results.

Do you want to see the full results, including actual percentages and numbers itemised, and the other categories that we haven’t included here?

If you’re already a Digital DJ Tips member, check your inbox, we’ve emailed you a link to download the full results PDF where you can see number breakdowns and extra info on all the featured sections, plus further sections detailing our community’s social media habits, other interests outside DJing, and more. Not a free member yet? Click here to join.

If you’re in the industry and we don’t send you this annually, please note that you’re just as welcome to have a copy of the results as everyone else. So if you would like to obtain the full survey results PDF, please get in touch and we’ll happily provide you with a copy.

DJ Demographic Info

This is the section where we find out who is taking the survey. We ask you your age, gender, education level, country of residency, relationship status, household size, whether you work (and if so, what you do), and similar things. This information helps us to get a clear picture of who is interested in DJing in 2023.

You are a multi-generational bunch, as we have a clear spread of DJs from all ages. Sure, there are fewer community members under 18 and over 55, with the peak being between 35 and 54 years old – but as we always recount, the spread of ages in our community is indicative of what Fatboy Slim says: “Unlike footballers, us DJs don’t have to retire!”

You’re over 90% male, most of you live in the US and UK (with Canada, Germany and Australia the next most popular countries), and you’re pretty evenly split between married/long term relationship and single.

More than half of you have full-time jobs, with the rest of you a spread of self-employed, students, part-timers, business owners and out of work. The vast majority of you don’t earn much at all from DJing, with around three-quarters of you earning less than 10% of your income, and only 7% of you earning the majority of your income from DJing.

Read this next: 5 Ways To Get Paid For DJing (& Avoid “Paying To Play”…)

DJ Type & Experience

You’re “lifetime” DJs, with half of you having been DJing for more than a decade – although that said, 15% of you have started DJing within the last year. Nearly half of you never or rarely play in public, and of those who do, you’re a broad mix of mobile/wedding DJs, party DJs, resident DJs, DJ/producers, bar/lounge DJs, with even a few radio and touring DJs among our crowd. You mainly class yourselves as “confident, but still learning”.

Not surprisingly, many of you aspire to the touring DJ/producer lifestyle or at least a club residency, showing that even among hobby and bedroom DJs, the dream is there to play those gigs where the crowd is eating out of the palm of your hand, and the tunes are flying out of your crates. Not surprising of course, as nothing else feels quite like those moments!

Learn to rock ANY crowd like a pro: The Complete DJ Course

That said, livestreaming has become an established way of DJing, with over a third of you doing it or at least having tried it, and half of you wanting to. Twitch is your platform of choice, although interestingly, nearly as many of you say you livestream on Facebook, one of the most unfriendly platforms for playing music. We maybe need to dig a bit deeper there to figure out what’s going on.

Nearly half of you make or have made music, with most of the rest of you interested in doing so, and Ableton Live is your favourite software, followed by FL Studio. Serato Studio is making inroads slowly.

DJ Set-ups

Just a generation ago, it was two turntables and a mixer. Now, it’s hard to imagine a wider variety of DJ systems out there. So here is where we dig deep into what our community is actually using to DJ and make music with.

More of you are using controllers and laptops than last year, at nearly 60% – maybe laptop-only features like real-time stems DJing are having an impact here. Still, around a quarter of you use standalone gear, whether club-style separates or all-in-one standalone kit.

Pioneer DJ is your favourite brand across the board, with Denon DJ and Numark in places two and three. You’re serious about your kit, spending four figures on your set-ups, and most of you also looking to upgrade within the next year.

Software and laptop-wise, you’re 60/40 Windows/Mac. Serato and Rekordbox/Rekordbox DJ are your favourite DJing platforms (in that order), followed by Virtual DJ, Traktor Pro and Engine DJ.

Don’t have our free gear guide? Grab it here: The Digital DJ Gear Buyer’s Guide

Music Styles & Sourcing Of Tunes

What kind of music do you like to play? Where do you get it from? That’s what this section looks at.

Most DJs nowadays in our community love to mix, and love to mix it up, with “multi-genre mixing” being the most popular performance style. You love all forms of electronic music (with house out front), but also hip hop and pop – although you have really broad tastes, with appreciation of practically all genres.

You mainly get your music from online download stores, with Beatport, iTunes and Bandcamp your top three. Nearly three-quarters of you use a streaming service nowadays, with Spotify way out front – even though it doesn’t work at all with DJ software any more (your new second choice, TIDAL, does). About a third of you use a DJ download pool, with BPM Supreme, DJcity and ZipDJ your favourite three.

Read this next: Where DJs Get Their Music

Social Media

Where do you hang out online? Are you doing it for entertainment, or learning? What are your favourite DJ channels? That’s what this section aims to uncover.

Not surprisingly, maybe, Facebook and Instagram are still your favourite social media channels, with YouTube close behind, and Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat following those. You prefer WhatsApp over email nowadays for staying in touch with people.

Also not surprising for a survey conducted by Digital DJ Tips – Digital DJ Tips is your most-viewed website – but you’re a vociferous lot, and you also love to read content from Crossfader and DJ TechTools, plus more mainstream DJ sites like Mixmag, DJ Mag and DJcity.

Read this next: 5 Tips To Get Ahead In DJing In 2023

Let’s close with some trends…

One of the most useful things about conducting this survey every year is spotting the trends year-on-year, and so here are a few things we’ve spotted comparing this survey with last year’s, and going back even further:

  • Software is where it’s at, more than last year – You actually chose Serato DJ Pro 3.0 as your most exciting new product this year, and Serato has had a good year, reclaiming the software top spot from Rekordbox. Even among standalone platforms, there have been big leaps in what those platforms and their accompanying laptop preparation tools can do, thanks to firmware and app updates. And we are party to lots of exciting developments very close for 2023, too (stay tuned)…
  • Stems are now a big thing – Virtual DJ and djay Pro AI started it, but with Serato now incorporating real-time stems DJing (and Traktor having promised it), it’s going mainstream – and there’s a big reason to prefer controllers/laptops over standalone gear once again
  • Livestreaming has established itself among DJs as a creative outlet – We thought livestreaming may be a bit of a “flash in the pan”, but it’s remained something that those who don’t do it, want to. As a way of sharing your true passion with the world when it’s impractical to chase or play club gigs, it’s unrivalled, and lots of fun
  • The gear shortage is continuing – Maybe another reason why software is on the community’s collective mind so much this year is that hardware manufacturers have truly struggled to supply the market. Products are announced and don’t appear for what seems like forever, and when they do supply is short, the second-hand market is thriving… while we are seeing some improvement, there’s still a long way to go

There’s one other trend that isn’t in the Census results that we can share: yet again Digital DJ Tips as a DJ school grew rapidly last year, which for us continues to underline the huge swell of interest in DJing, especially among adults who have realised if they don’t have a go now, they never will…

Learn to DJ with us: The Complete DJ Course

As a DJ school, we here at Digital DJ Tips believe that our job is to continue to promote DJing as a great hobby and even career, by educating DJs to keep them motivated and interested, and to help stop them getting frustrated or bored. The more people who are enjoying DJing, the more healthy the hobby and culture will be going forward.

Thanks to our sponsors

One more time, a huge thanks to our sponsors this year, Pioneer DJ, Denon DJ, Focusrite Novation, Rane, Alto Professional, ADAM Audio and Numark.

Last updated 5 March, 2023

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