“We Don’t Need A DJ, We Just Wanna Rent A System.”

September 12, 2016 by Robert Lindquist

Bob Lutz.

Does the name ring a bell?

If not, here’s a link that will bring you up to speed. Bob is a car guy. He started out at GM in 1963 and over the years held executive spots at Ford, Chrysler, and BMW—then returned to GM to head the Chevy “Volt” project prior to retiring in 2010.

The other day I was reading an interview with Bob Lutz (84). Fascinating guy. He predicts that the auto industry, as we know it, will cease to exist in just 20 years. Why? Because, says Lutz. branding will no longer matter. We will have gone from driving Toyotas, Chevys, Fords and Mazdas to transporting ourselves via identical, Podmobiles. Who cares what you drive when they are all the same?

The DJ business is headed down that same road.

A few weeks ago, I overheard a bartender at a wedding reception say to one of the guests, “These DJs all pay the same crap.” He’s right. We do. And it’s because it’s what the customer pays us to do. Little did that barkeeper realize that we were working off a fairly strict playlist. But even if we weren’t, we probably would have been playing much of the same “crap.”

I saw this meme earlier today... and got to thinkin'

I saw this meme earlier today… and got to thinkin’

So, how long can this go on? At what point will clients finally realize that the typical wedding list is pretty… typical. technology has made it quite easy for any semi-savvy wedding couple to put together their own “perfect playlist.” Give Uncle Mike a mic and he can be the MC. Granted, a professional DJ/MC is still what makes the party — and a Corvette is a lot more fun to buzz around in than a minivan — but the day is coming when it simply won’t matter. As each generation becomes more and more digitized, fewer and fewer people will care about, or even appreciate what a DJ brings to the party. In the words of Jimmy Buffett, “My occupational hazard is…my occupation’s just not around.

On the up side, there will always be new business opportunities for DJ service owners to explore.  The DJ of the future will be less about talent, and more about supplying the equipment. Having the biggest and best music collection is of zero value when everyone at the party has access to every song ever recorded and the bride and groom have already set-up an Apple music or Spotify playlist with all their favorites. It’s already happening. If you have not yet had a bride ask “If we give you a pre-programmed playlist on our iPhone, can you play that during dinner?” you will. Truth be told, (just to…ahem…prove my point) I’ve streamed a few cocktail sets just to test my theory.

Yep. Time’s they are a changing – again. Where are my car keys, I’m going for a drive.

Robert Lindquist Robert Lindquist (35 Posts)

Robert Lindquist has been involved in the DJ profession since 1967, when he built a make-shift sound system from spare parts in order to provide music for a birthday party. From that point on, he supplemented his day-jobs in radio, TV and advertising by DJ’ing in clubs and for weddings and corporate events. In 1987, he was encouraged to share his DJ experience in writing, which led to the release of “Spinnin’” at the initial DJ Times Expo in Atlantic City.Recognizing the need for a publication dedicated to Mobile DJs, he created Mobile Beat “The DJ magazine” in 1990. In addition to still being a sound tech and DJ/MC for weddings, he is a producer of video content writes for several audio publications and blogs. He is also a partner in Las Vegas based Level 11 Media, which maintains several Web sites and digital publications for musicians and touring sound engineers and is an IMDb listed actor and voice talent.

Filed Under: Business, Mobile DJ Sales & Marketing, Robert Lindquist