I know we don't have many followers for our page although we hope we get more, but what I am about to post may seem as if I am being rude or frustrated but in all honesty it is about educating our potential or future clients. It is about our rates and why.
I cannot speak for other DJ's only for ourselves but to put it simply, our rates are what they are because we don't use music streaming services. Period. Some - shall I say, "budget priced DJ's" charge less than us and probably other DJ's because the majority of music they play is not music they actually purchased and have stored on their hard drive or some sort of storage device, but rather they rely on an internet connection or WiFi connection and a music streaming service like ITunes or Spotify or Pandora, Soundcloud, YouTube or other music streaming service and then have the nerve to say they can play any song you want. If a DJ uses phrases like "have access to millions of songs" or "have well over a million songs" in their library, ask that DJ how and where they get their music. Ask if they actually purchased each song or if they rely on streaming services. Don't be afraid to ask to see their library. If they tell you they stream, think about this scenario. Seriously think about this. You hire one of these "budget DJ's" and request the DJ play certain songs for special dances at your event. The evening starts off going good. Your guests are enjoying themselves, some music is being played and then it is time for your first special dance. The couple(s) are the only ones on the floor. Your DJ starts the song you requested for this special dance and thirty seconds into it, the music stops because the DJ loses his/her internet or WiFi connection. After a minute or two passes, the DJ gets their connection back only to lose connection a couple minutes later. Okay, so one hiccup. No big deal you say right? Well later on in the evening, you have a touching moment planned where some special guests will have a dance together and once again, the DJ who relies on streaming music, loses their WiFi or internet connection and cannot get the song to play. Now that's twice that two separate dances that were supposed to be the highlight moments of your event that were ruined because your budget DJ didn't bother to actually purchase those special songs, store them on a media storage device.
Here's another scenario. You are in charge of booking the entertainment for a school dance. You decide to save money you book a budget DJ. Your DJ shows up on time, sets up their equipment, the dance begins and students seem to be enjoying themselves when all of the sudden, the DJ plays a song with inappropriate lyrics our foul language laced lyrics. You question the DJ and they say that it was requested or says it's played on the radio when actually it is played on an internet radio station like SiriusXM or Pandora or I heart where unedited music is commonly played. Now you have to explain to the principal what happened.
Think I am exaggerating? Ask any reputable DJ or follow a Facebook group of fellow DJ's. This stuff does happen.
We charge what we do because we take the time to make sure your event goes as you planned. We may not always get it right but we do our best to play music that we purchased that we feel will get people dancing and we always prescreen all music we plan to play so that only the edited free radio versions of songs are played for school events or if you request for your personal event as well. We don't subscribe to ITunes or Spotify or YouTube so we don't rely on streaming music sites to play songs. We subscribe to a music pool service, namely Promo Only to get the latest releases from artists. This is a legal music pool service that is used by professional DJ's, club DJ's, and even some radio stations and all music from this pool service is released directly from the artist's record label. If you request a song and we do not have it in our library, we will try to purchase it from Amazon or purchase the CD.
We also take the time to work with you throughout the planning stages leading up to the date of your event. We maintain communication with you throughout that time through face to face meetings or conference calls or if more convenient, email or text. We make suggestions, offer ideas and create a playlist that we even review with you weeks in advance of your event to make sure you approve the music you requested and the music we chose as well as the timeline for any special portions of the evenin. If request a song that we cannot get, we will let you know right away. And we have no problems showing you what songs are in our library and which songs we marked as explicit or dirty.
Believe me, we understand that you may want the best deal available. We do too but before you decide to go with someone because they are way cheaper than anyone else, ask yourself why are they cheaper? Does a professional photographer use Microsoft picture gallery to edit their photos? No. They use professional software that costs hundreds of dollars because it can do much more than some preinstalled program can do. They use professional grade cameras, and lighting that is 1000 times better than a cellphone or personal digital camera a flash can do. Does a caterer microwave the food for your event or buy frozen fruits or vegetables to make your meals? No. Does a cake decorator make their cakes using some store bought boxed cake mix where you just add an egg, water and vegetable oil? No. So why would you choose a DJ who relies on an internet or WiFi connection to entertain your event?
Whether you choose us or not, ask your DJ these questions:
Where do they get there music? We purchase all the music in our library.
Can you view their library? You can view ours.
Aside from playing music, what else do they offer? Example: Do they offer emcee services, do they offer motion or static monograms, do they offer additional lighting for your head table, cake table or punch bowl table? We offer pin spot lighting for cake or punch bowl tables, accent lighting for a head table, static or motion monograms at an additional charge, stock gobos at no charge and emcee services at no additional charge.
Do they own or rent their equipment? We own our equipment.
Do they have a back up computer or media device in the event their main system goes down? We carry a back up laptop computer and external hard drive.
Do they have a written contract signed and dated by them and you that states what they will provide, the rate agreed upon, the date of your event, etc and will they allow you a signed copy? We do.
Will they meet with you throughout the planning stages leading up to your event? We will. In fact, we recommend it.
Do they have a website that you can visit that would have pictures and or video snippets of past events they've done? We do.
Do they have reviews posted on their social media or websites? We do.