Promoting your mixes is certainly an area that has changed a lot in the last 20 to 30 years for DJs. It’s something that I’ve found a challenge to know the best techniques and platforms to work with, and I’m sure a lot of other DJs are in the same situation.
How to Promote your DJ Mixes?
Promoting DJ mixes requires a DJ to have a recorded mix of music that is post-edited and mastered for quality of audio. Finding a platform to upload a DJ mix can be easily achieved e.g. Soundcloud, Mixcloud or YouTube. Communication and interacting with people will support building awareness of your mixes and yourself as a DJ.
The thing is with promoting your mixes online is that technology and trends in what works for promoting mixes has changed a lot. It seems that there are different methods that evolve, grow or decline over time. I’ve carried out extensive research for all us DJs to see what the situation is in 2020.
Hopefully this list of DJ mix promoting ideas helps you on your way.
Tips to consider when promoting your DJ mixes
- Don’t worry about paying to promote your DJ mixes.
- Don’t simply post links in comments sections of social media and YouTube to get your mix listened to.
- Find the best platform that works for you.
- Mindset! Be open to the fact that some platforms become less effective over time and some new trends and methods emerge.
- Constantly research and read the details about copyright rules on all platforms you post your mixes on. Knowledge of this will help you progress without issues of your mixes being taken down or potential legal action.
- Optimise the title, description, add links to social media and your website, include track listing, add relevant tags and add calls to action.
- Create sleek images that stand out with your DJ “brand”.
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A lot of people search for DJ mixes and mix tapes online and on YouTube. So it shows that there’s plenty of people looking for mixes to listen to online.
However YouTube has been known to remove mixes due to copyright infringement. This presents an issue for all getting blocked or muted, or even removed from YouTube altogether.
When I’ve been researching for my own benefit about how to use YouTube for DJ mixes, I stumbled across a video on YouTube itself ironically. I found a bit of advice describing that it’s possible to plan ahead by checking the music directory policy section of YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/music_policies.
You check the finer details of how the music producers and copyright owners of the music tracks allow you to proceed with their music on YouTube. There are some more specific details on ‘Usage restrictions‘ here too. YouTube make it explicit that the rules only apply within the realm of YouTube itself.
The main areas that are listed on tracks in the music directory policy include, monetise, blocked or blocked in certain countries. If ‘monetise’ is apparent for certain tracks you want to DJ with then there will likely be adverts that appear on your DJ mix. This is because the owner and copyright holder of the music wants to make money.
So I thought I put it to the test. I searched for a music producer I like, ‘Calibre’ and found a track that’s possible to play. Although there’s likely to be adverts if I pick this track to play in the DJ mix to post on YouTube.
Lastly, I found out that it’s still possible to post a mix of your music on YouTube, but the thing is it will be flagged as “Ineligible” copyright claim. So if that’s the case you can switch off monetisation.
With that in mind YouTube is basically Google and they both seem to do what they like, so just keep in mind your DJ mixes might be taken down, especially if the rules change in future.
My advice for using YouTube is to:
- plan ahead your DJ sets, check that your tracks are not going to get blocked.
- be prepared for your YouTube video DJ mix to be taken down. There’s a chance of being taken down, muted or blocked.
- make the most of communicating and interacting with your fans on the DJ mix videos.
- link to all your social media and your website to direct potential followers to more stable media platforms to listen to your music.
With Spotify the mixes that you put together require being hosted on a platform already, enter SoundCloud! I will explain some more because there’s a double benefit with this method. Thanks to Data Transmission and their quick tutorial online about how to do this.
Make sure you upload your DJ mix on Soundcloud with all the necessary formatting and data requirements e.g. image, title etc. Make sure you click RSS in the settings for your Soundcloud track. Once uploaded you can grab the unique RSS feed code. From there go to this website podcasters.spotify.com and paste the rss feed.
Once you’ve done this you will be able to see your DJ mix on Spotify itself as well as on Soundcloud.
The benefit of hosting on Soundcloud is that it’s efficient to do so, you only have to publish your DJ mix once. Pasting the RSS feed code is simple and effective to get visibility of your mixes on Spotify.
You will be able to gain analytics insights on both Spotify and Soundcloud too which is useful to see which mixes are popular. Also beneficial to see which platform is working well for you.
My take on Spotify is that Podcasts / DJ mix shows are popular as a lot of playlists stop and start between each track. People love to hear a continuous mix and also follow popular / new emerging DJs.
Soundcloud is mostly for music producers and there are limitations of the platform in terms of the amount of minutes you can upload (on the free un-paid version of SoundCloud). Upgrading to the paid version gives you more flexibility for uploading longer time based audio files.
As mentioned in the above point about the Spotify podcast shows and RSS feed can really help reduce work load of updating your DJ mixes on multiple platforms.
There’s certainly still a copyright risk involved when uploading to SoundCloud, so be cautious of this fact.
Mixcloud is a great platform to share your mixes. A lot of DJs do so and you can find a lot of great podcast shows as well as mixes on there.
I appreciate the Mixcloud platform because of this licensing format and feel that it massively benefits the artists by Mixcloud paying royalties to artists, in the UK likely via PRS. (PRS does seem to have it’s limitations and grey areas but that’s a topic for another article.)
A few people in forums and comments I’ve chatted to have suggested that Mixcloud is rather crowded place for DJs, being too competitive. Yes you could argue that is a likely fact.
However even if you host your mix on another website or platform you still need to figure out a way to build up a following and interact with a community of DJs, clubbers and fans to get traction as a DJ or your own DJ brand.
So my advice would be to go for it with Mixcloud, optimise your titles, descriptions, track listings etc. Just don’t moan if you’re not getting many plays on Mixcloud if that’s the only activity you’re relying on to promote yourself and your DJ mixes.
If you’ve not heard of KUVO then either you’re missing out or you might not have Pioneer/Rekordbox in your list of DJing equipment.
I first come across KUVO when I installed Rekordbox for my Pioneer DDJ-400 DJ controller. An annoying pop-up appears when I’ve finished recording a DJ mix asking to post my mix on KUVO.
After the initial annoyed reaction of a pop-up appearing on the DJ software, I realised there’s a massive benefit to KUVO for promoting yourself as a DJ and DJ mixes.
Read the ‘about’ section if you’ve not come across KUVO here. In a nutshell the platform allows you to:
- Communicate with like-minded people within a community of clubbers, DJs and club promoters/managers
- Share your DJ mixes with all the track listing details – either in real-time or post recording
- Promote your up-coming gigs with your fan base
- Most importantly – Build up an international fan base by posting your DJ mixes on KUVO
Two methods to upload your mixes:
- Upload to KUVO website
- KUVO Live Playlist using Rekordbox
Both methods have different processes of uploading mixes, track data and location tags etc. For how to upload using both methods please see the KUVO posting guide here.
Go ahead and get an account setup today, get mixing and uploading your mixes. It really is a great concept and platform especially because you can start interacting with the community of clubbers and DJs.
This platform is very similar to Mixcloud and allows DJs and radio shows to be posted onto Heatthis.at website. The website has a statement on their copyright policy on this page here just for the record.
The navigation is awesome with presenting many different genres which says to me Hearthis.at is a popular platform to post your DJ mixes onto. The map is a pretty cool feature to see where in the world other DJs and radio show host are posting their mixes.
The website has an app just like Mixcloud which is compatible for Android and iPhone so definitely a plus point for increasing your chances of avid Hearthis.at users listening and following you as a DJ.
Play.fm is a very similar platform also to Mixcloud and Hearthis.at. It’s a simple platform and certainly another method and easy way to get your DJ mixes uploaded onto the web ready to share with the world.
I’d say this website is less popular than both the other two websites. Even so you still don’t have to rely on the website itself to generate the plays of your DJ mixes. Extra promotion, interaction with a community on social media etc still play a massive part in the awareness of you as a DJ.
Radio Show / Podcast
As we’ve discussed hosting and posting your mixes onto various platforms, some more popular than others, you could explore another option. Create a radio show or podcast. This is a great way to let your personality shine along side your mixing abilities.
Regular posting each week, fortnightly or monthly can help to build up following. My advice here as a listener of a lot of radio shows and podcasts, try to not speak to much unless you’ve got specific topics and insights that you can bring to the listener.
For example, stories of a new track that’s been produced, where you are DJing soon in the world and even tips on DJing and music production. Interviewing other DJs with a guest mix like on Radio 1xtra could work really well too. Also humour goes a long way too.
Implementation of a radio show or podcast
Yeah sure you can use Mixcloud and other platforms to host your podcast that’s fine. Another alternative is Blubrry. If you have a website (on WordPress for example) and additionally want to publish on iTunes and Google Play then Blubrry could be the solution for you.
Benefits & Functionality
- Easily migrate to Blubrry from Soundcloud for example
- You control the traffic to your website (DJ website or label website for example)
- Podcast RSS feeds
- ID3 tagging for all your podcast images, meta data etc.
- Cool media player that looks slick and works smoothly
Check out this page for the full works that Blubrry can offer. Alternatively if you want to shop around a bit for alternatives, here’s a fair comprehensive list on Podcast Insights.
Look for groups in the DJ scene e.g. style of music or participate in groups that you like other DJs or the record label. Find groups in which are related to the genre of music that your DJ and play out. This will make it super easy for you to interact with like minded people within your scene.
By interacting with people, to be more precise I mean you need to answer people’s questions to help them out, advise them on things in music/DJing and get ideas off people too.
The more you interact and communicate, then other like-minded individuals could be more aware of your name and photo (avatar). As a result of this interaction your Facebook page with all your DJ mixes and music (if you produce) might gain genuine interest and visibility. Boom! People seeing and hearing your mixes.
Live on Facebook
DJs that I know in certain genres have DJ’d live on Facebook. I find this format to be super interactive and quite a cool idea to engage with your followers.
For example S.P.Y. is a DnB DJ and he plays like sets on Facebook, also I’ve seen record labels put on small scale events that are hosted live on Facebook. The benefit I can see is that this is still a new(ish) concept that grabs people’s attention due to appearing in the Facebook feed and the live icon flashes too.
If you’re not too familiar with Facebook live then here’s a great read from Hubspot on how to use Facebook live. Facebook live you can record mixes so that’s another great way to re-publish your live DJ sets, further expanding your reach to people with your DJ mixes.
I think this is worth exploring and test the water to see how well this technique works for you. If it doesn’t then maybe it’s a case of not having enough followers, so either way you need more of those and keep publishing your DJ mixes live and recorded.
Forums like Reddit are a great way to interact with other like minded people from all over the globe and from different backgrounds, including DJs, clubbers and music producers.
Communicating on forums is a great tip that I picked up a while back. The advice here is to not just simply post links saying “listen to my mix” but interacting within a community. The topics that you interact and communicate within should be relevant to music genres that you like and DJ.
Get involved, help answer peoples questions, ask questions yourself and get advice from other people. Some of the topics that I’ve noticed recently do even involve chats about the best EDM tracks of 2018.
Get involved and share your thoughts. It could be mean that people notice you in the community and then start checking you out on your website, Soundcloud or YouTube, your website etc.
Believe it or not there is actually a thread on just ‘mixes’ too, so it does look like people share their mixes, but not just trying to force it down people on Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/mixes/
As you’re likely to create a website showcasing you as a DJ and your upcoming gigs, why not turn it into a full on blog where you release posts on a regular basis. Creating a blog will be for the long term but before you know it, with a bit of consistent effort, you’ll reap the rewards.
All social media channels, YouTube and Mixcloud can link to your blog and website, so you can get traffic that way. Hosting a podcast section on your website or even integrating YouTube videos is possible too. So you can have all your DJ mixes and radio/podcast features and shows on there too.
A blog in a way is quite similar to how you can interact with a community on similar topics. Having a comments section on your blog will give you that opportunity to interact with people about the topics you may write about and the DJ mixes you post on your website. The other way is to post on social media and interact with an audience that way.
Record Your DJ Sets at events and festivals
Get the promoter to re-post your dj sets
The amount of times that I’ve seen DJ sets that were recorded at live sessions, festivals or clubs is definitely more than simply listening to a recorded set.
So if you’re getting to that level where you’re playing clubs and festivals why not get someone to help you film and record your DJ mixes. In some cases the organisers of the event might record the video and audio. Get in touch with them and get them to share it with you.
Two options are presented that come to mind:
- sharing with the organisers/promoters is a great way to get traffic and views/listens of your DJ mixes.
- you help promote the event so that helps in a way to get you more gigs but also get awareness of yourself as a DJ and your “brand”. You essentially get your name out there into the world of DJing and music.
Sign to a Record Label
Becoming a producer can really do wonders to support your ability to promote and post your DJ mixes, mainly because it’s easier from a copyright point of view. But not only that, you get almost an instant tap of avid fans of the label that you sign up to.
It may be a skill that you’re already pursing or know, but if you don’t know how to produce music then this could be another avenue to pursue. Signing to a record label can make it a lot easier to promote your DJ mixes.
All the tracks that you play in your DJ sets will more than likely be signed off from the label so no worries there!
My perspective of DJing is that music production does go hand in hand with music production. There are a lot of benefits to being a DJ Producer, recently I wrote a guide on How to Become a Successful DJ Producer.
So why not explore this as an extra string to your bow and help boost the promotion of your DJ mixes from your music productions.
Record & Promote Yourself, Your Life, Your Journey as a DJ…
If you’ve not heard of Gary V, then go check him out on YouTube. He has a concept of marketing whereby you simply just record yourself and post on YouTube or similar social media platforms.
For example, you can record the way of life that you lead as a DJ, what you’re doing to pursue DJing and promoting yourself. That way when you post on YouTube you promoting yourself as a DJ and your personality, not just your mixes.
This concept is not new but it seems to help people understand your story and relate to you and become a fan of you more easily than simply listening to your music.
This method is not for everyone and fair enough too as it’s quite strange recording yourself at first. Either way my advice would be to record yourself and your DJ journey sharing your thoughts on things within music and the industry.
If you don’t want to post it online then fair enough. Just find the right method that works for you, some ways of promoting your mixes may take longer than others.
Carry CDs & USB Pens to give to people (if requested)
This article has talked a lot about online promotion of your mixes, and to be fair technology has help to pave the way for a lot of DJs out there in the past 20 years.
However there’s still a lot be said if you’re going to the clubs you want to play at, communicate with people on the same level you are in the online forums and you will become known.
If people ask to hear your mixes then having a CD or USB of your mixes on you at all times will give you the option to simply pass your DJ mixes onto people. You never know those people may be influential or know the right people to share your mixes and get you a few gigs even.
Another touch that you could always do is to have a business card with the links to all of the platforms that you push out your DJ mixes on.
How can I promote myself as a DJ online?
Social media is a great method to start promoting yourself as a DJ online. Networking online and in person can work well together to help build up a bigger following online. Working closely with other DJs and sharing content online can work well especially if other DJs have a larger social following than you.
Can I upload a DJ mix to Soundcloud?
It is possible to upload a mix to SoundCloud. In order to keep a mix live on SoundCloud you need to not break the rules of copyright, in other words not release a mix without the permission of the producers of all the music you play in the mix.
How do you upload mixes to Mixcloud?
First, create an account with Mixcloud. Then click on the ‘Upload’ button at the top of the website in the navigation bar with the arrow in the cloud. Click ‘Choose File’ then type the name of your mix. Mixcloud does not accept remixes, mashups, singles or albums. Anything less than 12MB is flagged as an alert. Once uploaded you will be able to add imagery.