The digitization of music distribution has transformed the dance music industry for nightclubs, DJs and club patrons alike. With digital audio formats like MP3 and MPEG4, and online distribution platforms like Beatport, DJs have expanded their repertoire, allowing club patrons to enjoy the latest music at nightclubs all over the world.
Pioneer DJ (“PDJ”) has led this digital revolution. Initially, with its range of hardware, its decks and mixers, and software that allowed DJs to play digital audio formats, and now, with its launch of KUVO, a cloud-based platform and service that connects club patrons, DJs and nightclubs.
KUVO streams real-time information about which tracks DJs are playing in nightclubs. On the back end, this requires nightclubs to become KUVO-enabled. Nightclubs can become KUVO-enabled by connecting PDJ decks to a network gateway, the “KUVO box”, that connects the decks to KUVO’s cloud-based internet server. The KUVO box records the metadata of a track that a DJ is playing and streams this online. On the front end, users can either access the KUVO website or download the KUVO app to view this information.
Connecting club patrons, DJs and nightclubs in this way makes the dance music industry more transparent and efficient, which should see the whole industry grow.
Having this information accessible to club patrons is great for DJs, particularly those on independent dance music labels. Often, these labels cannot afford to promote their artists on music platforms like iTunes, relying instead on distributing their music to be played in nightclubs. Before KUVO, the efficacy of this channel was questionable; applications like Shazam can’t detect songs that have had their pitch adjusted, meaning that club patrons have no access to track information, and so can’t purchase the music. Additionally, as part of the #GetPlayedGetPaid campaign, a campaign to prevent the misallocation of performance royalties, KUVO streams this metadata directly to performance rights organizations. Historically, close to US$ 150 million of royalties are ‘lost’ or misallocated each year, making it difficult for up-and-coming DJs to see a return from their music.
With the KUVO map, club patrons can find out which DJ is playing and what tracks are being played in KUVO-enabled clubs nearby to decide which club they should frequent. This saves both time and money for club patrons, reducing club-hopping and repeat cover charges.
So far, PDJ has revealed no plans to monetize KUVO, focusing solely on scaling its network. PDJ is offering the KUVO box for free to nightclubs that use PDJ equipment, and is launching KUVO in flagship nightclubs in major nightlife destinations like London and Ibiza. Additionally, PDJ is building KUVO’s affinity with the tightly-knit dance music community with campaigns like #GetPlayedGetPaid and with its roster of sponsored DJs to promote KUVO. PDJ has grown the KUVO network to 430 leading clubs and more than 600k DJs. With this, PDJ is betting that DJs and performing rights organizations, which issue licenses to nightclubs, will mandate that nightclubs provide this metadata, requiring them to become KUVO-enabled.
In the immediate term, PDJ is looking to KUVO to differentiate its hardware and software from that of its competitors. But, PDJ are now exploring the opportunity to develop KUVO to become an open system, which would see it become an add-in built into non-PDJ hardware, from which PDJ could earn a commission on sales. This “add-in model” has proven to be highly lucrative model for developers of specialist DJ hardware and software, e.g. Serato, Traktor and Ableton. More than this, an open system “add-in model” would drive the proliferation of KUVO, providing valuable network benefits, which could allow PDJ to add its current hardware and software business.
KUVO could become a business intelligence platform to support nightclubs. The insight KUVO provides could help nightclubs better curate their roster of DJs, events and music selection by aggregating and reporting on what latest music is being played elsewhere. KUVO’s proposition could be strengthened if its metadata could be combined with beverage sales and admissions data collected from nightclubs, to demonstrate how a DJ, a genre of music, or a specific song can affect admissions and beverage sales. This platform could operate as an online database but also as a SaaS platform, requiring nightclubs to upload and match their POS data with KUVO to enable more user-defined analysis.
With club patrons downloading the KUVO app on their smartphone, KUVO could extract playlists from music libraries of club patrons, particularly those in the local area, to support a nightclub’s music curation and communication efforts. Clubs could use KUVO to push-notify club patrons when its music selection matches that of a club patrons’ music library.
https://www.xlr8r.com/gear/2014/10/kuvo-what-is-it-how-does-it-work-and-is-it-a-good-idea-a-k-a-an-xlr8r-interview-with-pioneer-about-its-newest-product/ accessed 16th of November 2016