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Yesterday, at around 22:00 CET, Pulselocker shut down its services and effective from that moment, none of their integrations in Serato DJ or Rekordbox DJ will longer work.

This was done without previous warning, and it appears that customers were charged their monthly subscription fee as late as the day before on November 9th. So needless to say, something stinks here.

The only word for Pulselocker came in the form of an email, distributed to their paying customers:

Dear Pulselocker Customer,

It is with an incredibly heavy heart that we have to send this message. As of today, November 10th, 2017, Pulselocker is ceasing operations.

Six years ago we set out to provide a unique service to the DJ community—we believe we succeeded in providing something truly revolutionary that was well received by all of you. Due to a combination of market circumstances and financial constraints, we must re-organize our current structure if we are to successfully serve you in the future. After exhaustively searching for alternatives, we have made the extremely hard decision to shut down our operations.

We realize this news comes incredibly fast and we are truly sorry for the inconveniences this may cause. Thank you from the very bottom of our hearts for the support you’ve shown Pulselocker and our deepest apologies for the speed and inconvenience of this announcement.

We will continue to search for ways to bring the service back to you in a bigger and better way. We are proud of the community that rallied behind our technology and thank you for your support and patronage.

Sincerely,
The Pulselocker Team

Now if you were comfortable relying on Pulselocker as your only source for playing out, this might not be your best weekend:

Two things:

  1. Never ever count on an offline music service for professional Djing. Not even if it allows you to download tracks to your computer. Always have a core, local music library you own and that nobody can mess with.
  2. The above being said, shutting down a service like Pulselocker did is an extremely bad approach to managing a business closure. At the very least, they should have anticipated the closure a bit and organized it to be close the end of a subscription cycle, in order to give time to their customers to make alternative arrangements.

I don’t know why Pulselocker closed, but there didn’t seem much wrong with the service itself, as both Magnetic Mag and DjTechTools reviewed the service and gave it their thumbs up. So maybe it was a licensing conflict? Or the revenue from subscriptions was not making them enough money to stay afloat. Who knows…

What is the future of streaming in DJ apps?

Declaring streaming in DJ apps dead might be a bit premature at this point, but I would say that DJ’s are not ready to put their reputation in the hands of the cloud just yet. At least as far as I can assess, most DJ’s prefer to rely on their vast physical or digital collection.

Services like Pulselocker can help to complete a collection and be the solution for those requests that aren’t in the collection. But in that case, the subscription cost might be a bit too high for most, as paying 20 dollars a month for something you might only use occasionally is probably too much for most.

I personally have a Spotify Premium subscription, that I use for DJ and non DJ use. It works perfectly in djay Pro and at gigs, I have an iPad with djay Pro and Spotify running in case I get requests that are not in my main collection but are interesting enough to play.

So for me, there is certainly a place for streaming in DJ apps, but it needs to be tailored for DJ’s, and at a price that makes sense for occasional use.

Comment with your thoughts below!

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