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The Demographics of DJing
Chris Mills


Inspired by all the talk about raising the “bar” I decided to take on the task to find out, “What do DJ’s really make?”  In my research I found out a lot of interesting little tidbits to share with you.  First off, the information in this article is based on a survey that was sent to over 1000 DJ’s and posted on the top three Internet DJ chat boards.  Sadly, I only got back 198 responses.  Even though I expected more, I decided to move forward with the results.

I will break down each region by what percentage are single operators as oppose to multi-system companies, the percentage of male DJ’s to Female DJ’s, and finally “What is the average price for a four to five hour event?”  One side note, I did throw out one survey because the amount that this person averaged was more than double the amount of the next highest person.  So I felt that this person is an exception and would affect the true average for that particular region.

On with the results:

Area

Single Operators

Multi-systems

Male

Female

Average Price

Southeast

61%

39%

96%

4%

$497.72

Southwest

64%

36%

85%

15%

$604.25

Northeast

47%

53%

82%

18%

$595.47

Northwest

45%

55%

82%

18%

$586.36

Midwest

50%

50%

83%

17%

$588.68

East

65%

35%

83%

17%

$574.23

West

75%

25%

92%

8%

$794.55

North

100%

0%

100%

0%

$525.00

Also, in the study I asked about items that DJ’s have added to up-sell their business. Here are the top five up-sells.

1. Karaoke  33%
2. Video Program 15%
3. Dancers  7%
4. Gameshow Mania 5%
5. Confetti Canons 2%

What surprised me most about this is that 43% of all the businesses that responded did not offer anything other than a basic DJ package. As competitive as this market is getting I expected that number to be somewhere around 15%. Although karaoke lead the way for up-sells, I wouldn’t be surprised to see video programs inching closer to the top with the new found affordability of music videos on DVD.

So what does all this tell me. I’ve looked long and hard at the numbers trying to figure out what it all means. This is what I’ve come up with.

  1. The reason why there are far less multi-system companies in the west is because the average price is so much higher than the rest of the nation. The single system operator can survive with just one system.

  2. The DJ industry is still male dominated, but females are making greater strides in the East, Northeast, Northwest, and Midwest.

  3. The so-called “bar” is a lot lower than I thought it would be.

  4. DJ’s aren’t as involved in the industry as much as I thought (this is based on the amount of surveys returned).

So what is the “Bar” you ask. The average price for a four to five hour show in the U.S.A. is...

Drum roll please...

$596.67

Not bad, but still a long way to go to make this business more respectable in the eyes of other businesses within the entertainment industry.

Just for kicks here are the three highest paying and three lowest paying areas to DJ.

 

Highest

Lowest

1

Southern California $1018.12

Central, Iowa $312.50

2

Dutchess County, NY $1050.00

El Paso, TX $337.50

3

Boston, Mass  $705.00

Southwest, UT $375.00

Written by Christopher Mills, Owner, CJs DJs, Las Cruces, NM

This article is intended for DJ Zone Magazine. Any use of this article other than what it is intended for must contact Chris Mills (cjsdjs@cjsdjs.com) or the editor of DJ Zone Magazine first.

 

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