Pioneer Wants To Track All Music Played by DJs

November 5, 2014 -

Daily Beat Staff

We've all been there.  We've heard a sick track at a club one night, and we couldn't remember it the next day.  We’ve had the same beat or melody stuck in our heads, but left with very little recourse but to simply replay it as we remember it in our heads.  Inevitably, the track will be lost as days and weeks go by.

Pioneer DJ is looking to provide a valuable service to clubbers for this problem.  Furthermore, for DJs and venues too.  KUVO is Pioneer DJ's 'social network’ that allows access to track names and artist info in real time.  That’s right, you can know what track is spinning as it’s spinning!  While KUVO has been available for some time as a tracking system for clubs and DJs, it’s now being rolled out as a social network to track what songs are spinning on a given night.


This KUVO platform is also beneficial for artists whose tracks are being spun from night to night, as it allows a better tracking system for the venues to submit track listings to performance rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC in the US).  This will make sure that performance royalties go directly to these artists. Without proper tracking, the public performances of these tracks gets covered under the venue’s blanket license, and royalties get split amongst the big players that take up the majority of the public performance marketshare (your Beatles and Elton Johns of the world). This means more accurate distribution of public performance money, something very beneficial to artists in an ever-growing electronic music scene.

This can also plug a loophole for those who think that using audio recognition software such as Shazam is an easy solution to this problem.  The fact of the matter is that many tracks spun at clubs are promotional or pre-release copies of tracks that have not yet been submitted to a digital distributer to be recognized by any audio-fingerprint technology.  This way, the artist will still get credited for the plays of their songs as long as the tracks are registered as copyrighted works.

This could also improve accuracy in chart positions as well, since better records of song plays will establish more accurate measurements of public performances in a club setting.  Richie Hawtin is on record showing his support for the KUVO system for this purpose.

Richie Hawtin

Photo courtesy of

The catch: the KOVU platform only works on Pioneer CDJs and mixers.  While this may seem like a smart business decision on Pioneer DJ’s part to incentivize DJs and venues to buy their hardware, it looks to be short-sighted. Will the availability of a music tracking system become a unique selling point for a venue to attract artists?  If other audio technology manufacturers see a demand for song tracking systems, would this incentivize other companies to build a cross-platform product to add to their product mix?  If this is the case, this could hurt Pioneer DJ in the long run if they create a more open platform. 

Pioneer DJ's intentions are not in question here, just their approach.  It will be interesting to see how the market reacts in the coming months.

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