DJ pools are a useful service for working DJs. In essence, they give you access to a wide range of new music at the price of a single subscription.
DJs who haven't used these services before tend to have many questions, as several confusing elements are involved.
This guide explains everything you need to know about DJ pools - while recommending and reviewing the top services available today.
TL;DR - DJ Pools#
DJ pools are subscription services, which give DJs access to a large 'pool' of new releases.
These are a great tool for DJs to find new music and expand their music library.
There are some important legal considerations, and some platforms are not completely legitimate.
DJ.Studio is a new app streamlining the music discovery and mix creation process.
DJ Pools: Everything Explained#
This section explains everything you need to know about DJ pools. (No, a DJ pool is not a kind of swimming pool for DJs...)
What are DJ Pools?#
DJ pools (aka DJ record pools) are a type of service that allows DJs to access a large downloadable music library - typically for a monthly recurring subscription fee.
They allow DJs to access a wide range of the latest music releases for a single price, rather than having to buy each song directly. They also give you access to remixes and other harder-to-find tracks. Usually, you are allowed unlimited access to the music library while your subscription is active.
These originated in the days of vinyl, where record labels would send out test records to working DJs to get pre-release feedback. This idea has since developed into the digital DJ pool concept.
How do DJ Pools Work?#
Record labels and artists submit their music to these pools to ensure that their tracks reach a wider audience, particularly within the DJ community. In return, DJs pay a subscription fee to access the pool, allowing them to download a variety of tracks for use in their sets.
This symbiotic relationship benefits all parties involved: record labels and artists gain promotion and feedback on their music, while DJs receive legal access to a diverse selection of high-quality, new, and often exclusive tracks at a cost-effective price.
Additionally, record pools often categorize music by genre, BPM, and other criteria, offer exclusive edits and versions, and provide additional resources like forums and educational content, making them an essential tool for DJs looking to enhance their performances and stay updated with the latest music trends.
Typically these platforms are used through a website - where the user can sign up, and then browse the pool.
Note - Record pools will usually be filled with newer releases, rather than a large 'back-catalog' of older tracks. This is due to how they collect music, which is primarily driven by record labels sharing their latest songs. Record pools developed from a promotional culture - so it makes sense for them to work in this way.
Benefits of Using a DJ Record Pool#
Cost Effective - Using a DJ pool is an economical way to access a wide library of music. By paying a single subscription, you can download a lot of music. Most record pools use a tiered pricing structure, where more downloads are unlocked at a higher price.
Time-Saving & Convenient - Rather than having to look through several different platforms and libraries to find music, you can find a wide range from a single location. This convenience is ideal for professional DJs like a radio or wedding DJ.
Music Discovery - DJ pools make the music discovery process easier, as you will find a lot of new music without much effort.
Find Mashups, Edits, and Exclusive Content - Often you can find rarer remixes and mashups in DJ spools which might not be so easy to find in other places. A lot of these will be designed specifically for the dancefloor. These often include radio edits, clean versions, instrumentals, acapellas, and extended mixes that are not always available on consumer music platforms - and are highly useful DJ tools. For example this Purple Disco Machine Chemise Edit.
Are DJ Pools Legal?#
The topic of legality is relatively complex and deep as far as record pools are concerned. It depends on how (and if) the pools have negotiated terms with the record labels and rights holders.
You'll also see that some pools are more transparent when it comes to their legal standings - some are more legitimate than their competition, while others can be a bit dodgy.
Here are some of the most important considerations relating to the legality of record pools:
Licensing and Agreements: Record pools should have licensing agreements with record labels and artists to distribute their music. These agreements ensure that artists and labels receive proper credit and royalties for their work. As a subscriber, DJs are usually granted the right to download and play this music in their live DJ sets.
Intended Use: The music obtained from DJ pools is typically meant for promotional use and public performance by DJs. This means DJs can play the tracks in clubs, radio shows, or live events - and sometimes they give entertainment venues unprecedented access to their library. However, redistributing the music, sharing with non-members, or using it for commercial purposes (like in a video or podcast that generates revenue) without additional licensing is typically prohibited.
Membership and Subscription: Access to a record pool requires a membership or subscription. The terms of service for each record pool outline what DJs can and cannot do with the music. DJs need to adhere to these terms to avoid legal issues. Some let you use the music after your subscription expires, others won't.
Promotional Feedback and Reporting: Part of the agreement for using a record pool often involves providing feedback on tracks or reporting on which tracks are played. This feedback helps record labels understand market trends and can influence future music production. It also ensures that artists and labels receive accurate data for royalty distribution.
Copyright Laws: While record pools ensure that DJs receive music legally, DJs must also respect copyright laws in their performances. This includes understanding the laws related to public performance and ensuring that any venue they perform at has the appropriate licenses for music playback.
Region-Specific Laws: The legality of using music from record pools can also vary depending on regional copyright laws. DJs should be aware of the laws specific to their country or the country in which they are performing.
While DJ record pools are a legal way to obtain and use music, DJS must understand the terms of their subscription, adhere to the intended use of the music, and respect copyright and licensing laws.
How To Join A Record Pool#
Because record pools are supposed to be used by DJs (and not mere mortals) often they'll want proof that you're really a professional DJ.
First, you'll register your interest on their website, usually by clicking 'Sign Up' and going through some kind of application form.
You may need to immediately provide evidence of being a working DJ. This might including submitting materials like social media accounts, online mixes, videos, publicity posters, or any other evidence which can verify your position.
If you get rejected, you might need to spend some more time gathering proof of your DJ career - or try a different pool.
What are the Different DJ Pool Types?#
DJ record pools can vary in their focus, the services they offer, and the way they operate.
Understanding the different types can help you choose the one that best suits your needs as a DJ.
Here are the main types of DJ record pools:
Genre-Specific Pools: These pools specialize in specific genres of music, such as hip-hop, electronic music (EDM), pop, country, or anything in between. They are ideal for DJs who specialize in a particular genre. The tracks, remixes, and edits found in genre-specific pools are typically curated to cater to the tastes and needs of DJs within that specific musical niche.
Video Record Pools: Some record pools focus on providing music videos in addition to audio tracks. These are particularly useful for video DJs (VJs) or venues that have video screens. Video record pools ensure that the videos are high-quality and often provide video edits that are suitable for club or event environments.
Local or Regional Pools: Some record pools focus on music from specific regions, cultures, or local scenes. These can be valuable for DJs who want to play music that resonates with a particular audience or who wish to support and explore local or regional artists and styles.
Professional DJ Pools: These pools cater to club, radio, mobile, and wedding DJs by offering a wide range of music suitable for various venues and events. They often require DJs to provide feedback on tracks or report their playlists, which helps record labels track the performance of their releases.
Remix and Producer Pools: These pools focus on providing remixes, bootlegs, and custom edits. They are geared towards DJs who want to play unique versions of tracks that can't be found elsewhere. Producer pools might also offer stems or instrumental tracks for DJs who are also involved in music production or remixing.
Tips For Choosing and Working with Record Pools#
Before showing you the pools, here are some useful tips to help you choose the right one.
Music Selection and Genre Specialization: Consider the genres of music you usually play or want to explore. Some may specialize in certain genres like hip-hop or EDM for example - while others will be broader and supply multiple genres. It's crucial to choose a record pool that provides a wide selection of the genres you prefer. Additionally, check how often the pool updates its library and whether it offers exclusive tracks or versions that can help your DJ sets stand out.
Additional Content: Check the additional content and resources the pool provides. Some pools offer extras like music video downloads, tools for track organization, DJ charts, remix competitions, or educational content like tutorials and industry news.
Terms of Service: Carefully review the terms of service to understand your rights and obligations, including how you can use the tracks and any restrictions that apply. Look at their download terms, and see if they offer features you need like unlimited downloads, the ability to play music on radio stations, charts and trends pages, or anything else.
Cost and User Experience: Consider the subscription cost and evaluate it against the value you're receiving – this includes not only the music itself but also the quality of the platform, ease of use, and any additional features.
Exclusivity - Some pools are more exclusive than others, for example, many DMS (direct music service) pools are strictly limited to professional DJs with a large reputation. Make sure you look at pools that will accept DJs of your size.
You may need to try out a few pools to find the right type - so make sure that you only pay for one month initially, and don't lock yourself into any longer contracts until you're certain that the pool is right for you.
Some pools offer a range of separate subscriptions internally. For example, they may have a separate video DJ package, or split out their library into genre subscriptions.
The 4 Best DJ Pools in 2024#
If you're looking to try out some DJ pools, I think that these 4 offer some of the best services.
1) Beatport Streaming#
Beatport Streaming is a top choice for electronic music DJs, offering an unrivaled selection in the genre and high-quality, DJ-ready tracks. The platform’s direct integration with DJ software and hardware makes it incredibly convenient for live performances.
While the focus is on electronic music, the depth and breadth of the catalog are impressive. The higher price point might be a consideration, but for DJs serious about electronic music and seeking seamless integration with their DJ gear, Beatport Streaming offers substantial value.
You can use it in DJ.Studio to rapidly experiment with new songs and make mixes.
Pricing: Offers several tiers, including a basic tier starting at around $15/month and a pro tier that can go up to around $45/month.
Direct integration with DJ software and hardware
Extensive electronic music catalog
Offers lossless audio
Can be used in DJ.Studio for maximum productivity.
Higher price point
Primarily focused on electronic music genres
Notable Features: Integration with DJ software/hardware, offline locker feature in higher tiers, and a vast catalog of electronic music. Also offers curated playlists and charts.
DJcity is recognized for its strong focus on providing the latest tracks in hip-hop, electronic, and dance music, making it a go-to for club DJs and open-format DJs.
The platform is praised for its user-friendly interface, high-quality tracks, and exclusive edits.
While it’s an excellent resource for DJs needing current hits and mainstream music, those looking for a more extensive back catalog or niche genres might need to supplement their library elsewhere.
Pricing: DJcity offers a monthly subscription model with rates of around $30/month.
Extensive selection of new releases
High-quality, DJ-friendly edits
Strong focus on hip-hop, electronic, and dance music
Limited back catalog
Mainly caters to open-format and club DJs
Might not suit DJs looking for niche or older tracks
Notable Features: Offers an extensive library of music with tracks from around the world, exclusive edits, a mobile app for browsing and listening on the go, and curated playlists for various moods and genres.
3) BPM Supreme#
BPM Supreme is widely favored for its extensive range of music, catering to DJs of all genres. The platform is especially notable for its well-designed interface and the quality of its tracks and edits.
While it offers a great selection for most DJs, those looking for very niche tracks or specific remixes might find the selection lacking. The addition of music videos and pre-made sets makes it a versatile platform for both audio-focused DJs and those who incorporate visuals into their performances.
Pricing: Offers various tiers, including a standard membership for around $20/month and a premium membership for around $30/month.
Broad music catalog covering various genres
Video downloads available
Intuitive website design
Some users want more obscure tracks and rare remixes
Video pool could be larger
Notable Features: Wide variety of music genres, pre-made sets, curated playlists, and a user-friendly interface. It also offers music videos, making it a solid choice for VJs or venues with video capabilities.
4) Digital DJ Pool#
Digital DJ Pool stands out for its affordability and user-friendly service, making it a popular choice for DJs starting out or those on a budget. The platform offers a solid selection of music with a particular emphasis on hip-hop and dance tracks.
While it might not have the sheer volume of tracks as some larger pools, its discovery features and social aspects create a vibrant community atmosphere. DJs can rate tracks, leave feedback, and even interact with artists and labels, adding a unique dimension to the traditional record pool experience.
Pricing: Known for its competitive pricing, Digital DJ Pool offers a 5-day trial for $1, followed by a subscription fee of around $20/month.
Good variety of genres
The selection of tracks might not be as extensive as some larger pools
Some users report varying quality in track edits
Notable Features: Offers a discovery feature to find new music easily, allows interaction with artists and labels through the platform, and provides track ratings and feedback options.
DJ Studio and Beatport Streaming : The Best DJ Pool Tool#
If you're looking for an all-in-one mix creation and DJ pool solution, you need to look at the Beatport Streaming and DJ.Studio collaboration.
As outlined above, Beatport Streaming is an enormous DJ pool that covers every genre. This service is integrated into DJ.Studio - a uniquely powerful mix creation tool, regarded as a DAW for DJs.
This combination means you can experiment with any song (in full) from the Beatport catalog in a mix, then you can export your mix to a range of useful locations - including as a rekordbox playlist with hot cues.
DJ Studio is an intuitive software solution designed for DJs of all skill levels.
Rather than working like traditional DJ software, DJ.Studio enables users to create mixes on an audio-editor timeline, enhanced with smart DJing features. It's integrated with other DJ software for a seamless mixing experience, whether you're live or in the studio.
This is the perfect tool to use in combination with Beatport, as it gives DJs more power when preparing their sets, and making promotional mixes.
This has several advantages for DJs:
Experimentation - Experiment with the construction of your mix, using the flexible drag-and-drop interface.
Preparation - Perfectly prepare mixes for your live shows, taking advantage of harmonic mixing and AI automixing.
Productivity - Increase your creative output thanks to the faster workflow, and the ability to record your finished projects up to 10x speed. This rapid production process can help to grow your reach as a DJ.
By using DJ.Studio with DJ pools, DJs can increase their creative output, prepare more memorable mixes, and make the most of their time.
You can see this in action by looking at the workflow of using DJ.Studio with Beatport Streaming.
Step-by-Step Guide: DJ Studio & Beatport Streaming#
Download and open the DJ.Studio app.
Create a Beatport Mix Project.
Start browsing the Beatport Library in DJ.Studio, and add tracks to your mix. You can browse the top 100 genre charts, search for tracks, artists, and labels, and see your own custom playlists. Add any Beatport tracks to your mix setlist.
Build the order - Use the playlist view to set the order of your setlist, or use the Automixier to suggest an optimal order based on the key and tempo of each song. This harmonically mixes and beat-matches your track.
Refine the mix - Use the editor timeline to sculpt your mix. You can use automation, effects, editing, loops, samples, and many other features to fully customize your mix, achieving high-quality results that sound just as good (or better) than live mixing on decks.
Export - When your Beatport mix is finished, you have a couple of export options.
Share to Beatport Community - Upload your mix to the DJ.Studio Beatport Community page, where you can interact with other users.
Legalize - This magic button turns your Beatport Project into a Local File project, which has more export options. It scans your Beatport library and works out which tracks you need to buy in the mix. Then it creates a shopping cart. After you pay for the tracks, it automatically downloads them, and recreates your mix in the Local File mode. From here, you can export a full wav, and Ableton Live set, and audio-reactive YouTube video, or send your mix to rekordbox, with hot cues indicating the transition points.
See this in action here:
By combining DJ Studio's powerful features with the extensive music library of DJ pools, DJs can push creative boundaries, maintain a fresh setlist, and deliver more memorable performances. It also helps to increase your productive output, which is useful for gaining publicity.
This is just one type of workflow offered by DJ.Studio, so make sure you check out the rest of this website to see how it can improve your DJing setup.
With your new understanding of DJ pools, it's time to dive in and get downloading. Make sure you read through this guide to learn which is the best type of DJ pool for you.
After downloading some tracks, make sure you try them out in DJ.Studio to see how it can help your mixing workflow. Try it yourself with the DJ.Studio free 14-day trial.
Frequently Asked Questions on DJ Pools
- What is the best DJ Pool?
- How much does a DJ Pool cost?
- Is Beatport a DJ Pool?