At the end of October, DJZ.com launched. The website, started by Turntable.fm founder Seth Goldstein, is expected to be a “crazy, mental” world for DJs to connect with their fans and brings the latest releases, festival and show information, recent news, and apps to fans.
Goldstein experienced the phenomenon of the modern EDM show just as the genre began its quick mainstream ascent stateside in 2009. After attending a Bassnectar show, he realized the internet has no single location for being fully immersed in DJ culture, and DJZ.com, therefore, is an “all-access pass” to the genre. What Goldstein, apparently, hasn’t taken into account is that social media use drastically proliferated over this time, practically concurrently with EDM’s rise. While the web may have no easily-found location for all fans, Facebook and Twitter accounts and communities get pretty close.
DJZ.com, on a visual level, is a promising effort. Its juxtaposed bold shades and black design captures the occasional outlandishness of a show, but while the bright lights, lasers, and disco balls work in a club or outdoor event, they verge on headache-inducing on a website. Additionally, the look mirrors just one sect of EDM fans – the ones that show up decked fully in neon, down to hot pink wayfarer frames.
But, looks aside, does the content of DJZ.com match what’s already in existence on the internet, such as extensive and up-to-date Soundcloud and YouTube accounts and down-to-the-minute news websites? While DJZ.com covers all aspects, each one is in a very basic stage at the moment. News coverage is barebones and spliced between music- and site-related stories. Videos, on the other hand, eliminate the channel surfing and content sifting of YouTube and touch on both singles and live performances.
The listening section claims to put together hand-picked tracks and says it offers recommendations based on favorite DJs. Unfortunately, and this is somewhat odd as tracks are being pulled from Soundcloud, mixes for favorite artists occasionally stick with that DJ’s releases. The list of 10 recommendations for Avicii, for instance, included 10 of the Swedish house producer’s own tracks. Recommendations for A-Trak ranged from Duck Sauce to Boys Noize to Justice.
Recommendations, as well as the list of all DJs on site, stick strictly with mainstream fare. For the fan already familiar with the big names, and even some of those farther down DJ Magazine’s Top 100 list, this is moderately disappointing. Fewer new tracks and artists are to be discovered. While DJZ.com might not want to go totally underground, like Satellite’s range, it might consider taking a few cues from Beatport.
As far as each DJ’s page is concerned, the artists themselves haven’t started using DJZ.com as a source to connect with fans. But, should they? Each artist’s page, instead, has a Twitter feed, videos, tracks, and a list of events powered by Songkick. Although DJZ.com, in this case, provides a centralized point for this information, any fan likely regularly checks his or her favorite artists’ individual Soundcloud, YouTube, and Twitter pages for this information already.
DJZ.com essentially has the look but doesn’t deliver. To truly reflect the genre, creators and developers should consider expanding the pool of tracks beyond the mainstream and offering an experience, beyond convenience, that rivals, if not improves, that of social media.