Where can we find the next generation of audiophiles? Look no further then the worlds top club DJ!
These last few weeks, I happened to be traveling and had some time to get back into my passion of Dance Music and DJing. I was, as some of you may or may not know, one of the top DJs in the country and in fact at one point, the world. As I journeyed to California and Las Vegas it hit me, the top attractions on the strip were not only the stars who performed their past hits but now a burgeoning crop of ultra well paid DJs who played the music they composed in front of eager fans eager to pay $40 and more at the door and then pay for bottle service ranging from $500 to $800 for a bottle of liquor, some glasses, a personalized booth and their very own waitress to make sure the pours were heavy, frequent and happening often as the night wore on.
Oh, did I mention the thousands of eager dancers in attendance, just to see a DJ spinning music on a Pioneer DDJ System, some just watching and never dancing as they filmed and took smart phone photos all evening long?The prices these DJs receive for a few hours work ranged from thousands to hundreds of thousands. Yes that is correct, they are paid a literal fortune for playing some music that is popular interspersed with the music they themselves compose for the clubs. The large crowds they attract make them a commodity in demand, able to command great amounts of money for a nights work. It’s not uncommon for one of them to receive $250K to $400K for playing music at a New Years Eve party, special event or a private bash for the mega wealthy who love the scene and have unlimited budgets when it comes to having a good time.
Some top DJs do yearly residencies (that is where they are paid to come back on a regular basis to play at the same venue) that can earn them Tens of Millions of dollars per year for monthly appearances. As you can see, it is a very lucrative business but it also has potential to be a real windfall market for the high end audio manufactures, if they are smart and use the constant quest for great sound to entice this new generation of wealthy DJs and their followers to purchase sound systems that reward the discerning listener by educating them to great!
As I went from club to club and was welcomed into their homes, I noticed that these workmen and mega wealthy Nouveau riche DJs had one thing in common which was a love and passion for larger then life audio speakers and amplifiers to bring the sound they loved and were accustomed to in the clubs back with them to experience in their home environments. They all sought the same feeling and sonic excellence they felt when they played their music on the mega amped club systems and high-end power supplies that they were accustomed to when they performed. It was one of those light goes on moments when you have an epiphany and realize that you have discovered an untapped and extremely viable audience with expendable dollars that loves the music and has not yet realized there was another level of sound and experience that was possibly better then the clubs and could be purchased and used right there in their homes readily accessible to them to enjoy and impress.
Sadly, these DJs are mocked and chastised as nothing more then unqualified music programmers who mimic a jukebox is not always true. The best of them may hold the key to a truly untapped market for the high-end audio manufacturers that they have been totally unaware of up to this point. Believe me when I tell you that if you choose to ignore the pursuit of the best of these DJs you are missing the opportunity of a lifetime. To do this it requires someone who can see beyond their normal scope and takes the time to better acquaint themselves to the needs of a DJ while understanding where there may be a common ground to make inroads to reach the next generation audiophiles. w
It’ a fact, that most of the manufacturers of high end audio gear rely on a very small sample of highly educated music loving individuals who understand and get-off on the wonderful specs and graphs when their gear has a test meter attached to verify the accuracy of sound reproduction and show off their great pride in what they have achieved to fellow audiophiles who drool, gush and lavish praise over the wonderful exact recreation of sound at its finest. That is wonderful for conversation amongst your peers, however, today there is a new and growing group of consumers who don’t use specs, graphic equalizers of sound spectrum analyzers to judge what great sound is. This new generation uses something called “ears” in guiding them to decide for themselves what sounds great and is deserving of being added to their homes! We’ve become too far removed from what a great listening experience is and it’s time to use those two little gifts we have on our heads that collect and decipher sonic information to a degree that may prove better then all the test equipment used to tell us what we should like and not actually give us what we do!
Now getting back to my DJ friends and why they are the perfect subjects for solicitation of your gear. You see, first off, they come from a genre that is sound based giving you a mutual area of conversation and acting as a door opener to you since you are dealing with a mutual passion for excellence in sound.These DJs are also flush with cash although the genres in EDM (Electronic Dance Music) is on the ebb, there will be other new offshoots and styles that will emerge taking it’s place and there will always be dance in some form, but for the moment and reasonable time period, these DJs are here with lots of money you might just get them to part with if you can win them over get them to trust you.
You have Top money maker, Calvin Harris taking in in excess of $63 Million and receiving over $400K per gig in Vegas, with DJ Tiesto making over $38 Million per year and others such as David Guetta tagging along with $28 Million while the rest of the pack those in the top 10 receiving a total of $270 Million per year for an eye popping average of $27 Million per each!
Let me reiterate that these DJs have systems in their homes that cost tens of thousands of dollars not to mention their digital turntables and outboard gear of the same cost they use in an evening. It’s quite a sight to see a DJ system in a private home or apartment where there is barely enough room to move, having two speakers going floor to ceiling with the capacity to blow you into tomorrow at a reduced level of 5 on their amplifiers.This is a new found source of leads for the high-end audio manufacturers and enthusiasts if you take it seriously and court this untapped pool of possibility illustrating the difference of quality, between that which they now have and what it can sound like, they’ll be sold just as I was a young man starting out in music.Sure you can continue doing the same thing, pleasing the purists while keeping the same fans of your products you’ve had for decades but I warn you, that’s not the way to insure a bountiful continued existence as the world we live in changes daily and New Technology continues to push the envelope of our creativity and boundless imaginations, leaving only the way we consume sound to be an issue.
The world of music lovers does not stop but customers of great high-end audio gear will diminish if actions are not taken and plans not made to insure that the same love and pride that so many of you have in manufacturing your wonderful gear is not instilled in a next generation of potential audiophiles.Be patient as you seek to find the common ground to get you in the door and peak the interest of this new young generation of music lovers. Show them though demonstrations that focus on the value of audio without the use of test equipment. This generation learns by doing and experiencing first hand and has little time to read no lest comprehend the measured metrics of great sound. That will come but fist get them hooked on how great music sounds on your systems! These young men and women are not arrogant but ignorant of the greatness they are being deprived of, so teach them and cultivate a taste for “great” in them and your rewards and the proliferation of great sound and the new fans who have a respect for it, will continue for many years to come!
As always, make sure you love the music and respect artists who create it!
2010 to Present: President of John Luongo Management, LLC., a Full Multimedia Content Provider with divisions in Administration, Licensing.
1986 to 2000: Founded “The Office, Inc.” which works with all major labels to explore new technologies that enhance the future of the entertainment business and develop new artists.
1983 to 1986: Became one of the youngest Presidents of a CBS Associated Label with his term at the helm of Pavillion Records.
1980 to 1983: Began mixing records that were met with tremendous success.
1978 to 1980: I was tapped to head the largest Dance Promotion company in the United States, MK Dance (owned by Mark Kreiner and Tom Cossie of Chic fame)
1975 to 1978: Started the Boston Record Pool which was one of the first three record pools to begin the Record Pool phenomenon we know today.
1973 to 1975: Upon graduation from Northeastern University, obtained a BS in Civil Engineering and worked for AJ Lane Construction and became the head engineer on a project to build an 8 Story 175 Unit pre-cast.