Stepping into a club and dancing away for hours to the beat of a DJ’s tune has to be one of the most exhilarating experiences in life. Clubbing is an extraordinary way to let your inhibitions fly and embrace the beauty of music. Music has always been entertaining, but the DJs of today have taken music to a whole another level of bliss.
Technology in Music
Music nowadays, is all about evolution. The secret to a DJ’s success is his or her ability to adapt to the ever changing needs of the clubbers. In order to keep up with the changing times, the DJs resort to the help of modern day technology. With the use of technology, DJs can always stay at the peak of their game, and continue to enthral and entertain music lovers and clubbers day and night.
Apps on our smart phones are perhaps the most useful element of modern day technology we have in hand. We use apps for almost everything, from shopping, to playing games, to checking the weather, to calculating stock market profits. So it comes as no surprise that there is an app, which is tailored made to enhance the club experience and streamline the hectic work of the DJs.
KUVO is an entertainment service and smart phone application that has been developed by Pioneer DJ, a part of Pioneer Electronic’s Professional Sound and Visual Division. The purpose of this smart phone app is to connect club fans, DJs and clubs from different parts of the world via music, technology and social media.
Pioneer’s Professional DJ Gear is hugely popular with DJs and clubs around the world. Therefore, it made great sense for them to come up with their own network, which will allow Pioneer’s highly developed DJ equipment to spread exclusive information about DJs, clubs and general music along with customized data with the use of a proprietary Internet server. All of this and more can be achieved through the KUVO app.
How KUVO works
KUVO works in a simple, uncomplicated way. The app makes use of the network to stream information from the DJs (who are registered to the app), performing in KUVO equipped clubs. This information is then made accessible to the users of KUVO, who can view the data on the KUVO app or website (KUVO.com). The entire network system is intended to facilitate an improved clubbing experience.
“With the KUVO service and app, as a club fan you’ll be able to see who’s playing at your favorite club, follow a DJ you like, see where they’re performing, and even check out the name of the track they’re currently playing. You can do this at any time, day or night, even with DJs and venues half-way across the world,” said David Arevalo, director of marketing, Professional Sound and Visual Division for Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “KUVO gives DJs and clubs a direct connection to club fans with the ability to customize and send messages to club-goers.”
Functionality of KUVO App
The KUVO app can be availed free of charge from Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App store. As mentioned before, there is also a KUVO website. Both the website and the app have four basic functions. These are:
1) Accessing Information
With the KUVO app or through the KUVO website, users of the service can now acquire up to date information about the tracks and playlists that are being played by the KUVO registered DJs in the KUVO equipped clubs. Anything that you want to know about the DJ or the song that is being played will appear on your smart phone or the website.
In addition to that, you can also find out which tracks are being played in real time. Along with the track names, you can see the personal messages that the DJs may attach within the tracks. KUVO also displays messages from the club.
If you are a user, you can search for your favourite tracks or find out the preferred playlists of the DJs in the KUVO clubs. You can post comments about the playlists or have them sent directly to the DJ. This allows the fans to directly communicate with their beloved DJs
With the help of the app you can also stay updated about the latest trends in clubs, DJs or tracks from all around the globe. Similar to Twitter, it lets you know what’s trending right now. These trends are based on the number of likes received by the tracks, the DJs or the playlists.
2) Purchasing Music
Besides gifting you with an abundance of knowledge about club music, KUVO lets you preview and buy the music tracks on Itunes or Juno. So the next time you’re at a KUVO equipped club, and you come across a track that you’re starting to like, you can simply browse all the information about it, and then purchase it then and there.
3) Creating Photo Album
KUVO also lets you take pictures that are automatically tagged with the venue, current track and performing DJ along with a time stamp. It gives you the option to save the photo to your device and then upload it on Facebook or Twitter.
4) Viewing Club Map
The KUVO services provides you with a map of KUVO clubs in different locations of the world. On the map, you can view the tracks that are currently being played in each KUVO hotspot as well as some basic information about the DJ that’s performing. In this way, you can find the KUVO equipped DJ clubs with great ease and also decide on which club to go to based on your preference of the tracks that are being played.
If you don’t recognize the track by its name, then you can listen to a sample of the track from the club information playlist. The map mode also allows you to stay updated with event information that is released by the KUVO registered venues.
Advantages of KUVO
KUVO comes with a bag full of advantages not just for the clubbers, but also for the DJs and clubs who are subscribing to their service.
For the DJs
Joining KUVO is free for DJs. All they have to do is log onto http://djclubnetwork.com/about/ and get registered to become an official KUVO DJ. Once they come under the umbrella of KUVO, they are required to use Pioneer’s rekordbox software to organize their music.
Using this, they will also make their tracks accessible to the public, so that KUVO can share information about their music. A registered DJ can create his or her own profile and send out personalized messages to the fans. They can also promote their homepages or social media pages. It’s a win-win situation for both KUVO and the DJs
For the Clubs
In order for a club to become a KUVO venue, the club owner has to simply reach out to Pioneer DJ. Pioneer DJ will provide and install NXS-GW network gateway in the club for free of charge. (for a limited time, quantity and certain locations only). This gateway establishes the connection between the Pioneer gear and the KUVO Internet server. Following installation, club owners can register and create their own profiles. Similar to how the DJs are allowed to post personalized messages for fans, clubs can also issue event updates or announcement for the club goers.
Both the DJs and clubs can keep track of the clubbers’ responses by checking out the number of likes or comments received on Facebook and other social media. The greater the number of likes or comments is, the more inclined will the DJs and the clubs be to create new playlists or book a new upcoming DJ etc.
Since users can take pictures and share them with the clubs and DJs, KUVO’s marketing and advertising potential is hugely enhanced.
Drawbacks of KUVO
Despite how impressive KUVO sounds, it would be erroneous to assume that the information streaming service comes with no disadvantages. Without a doubt, KUVO is of great help to the DJ’s and clubbers, but it seems to have a negative impact in two specific areas.
Loss of Club “Mystery”
The first so called negative effect deals with the loss of the mystery of the club playlists. One of the things that makes a club experience so enjoyable is that the clubbers never know which songs are going to be played next. People dance for hours in anticipation of their favourite songs, which when released, turns the crowd wild.
With KUVO, the secrecy of the playlists is pretty much tarnished. Clubbers will know from beforehand which songs are a part of the night’s playlist and the order in which they are going to be played. While this is beneficial when it comes to hooking in clubbers by advertising their favourite songs, it’s deemed as a party spoiler by those who enjoy the thrill of being surprised by desired tracks.
The other disadvantage of KUVO that is becoming a great concern amongst DJs is the obligation to pay performance royalties. DJs often play songs or tracks that they have purchased without paying royalties to their rightful owners (artists or record labels). This was convenient for DJs and gave them the liberty to play any track at any time without having to be apprehensive about losing their money in royalties. The artists of the tracks or the record labels under which the tracks were released had little to no way of finding out when, where and by whom the tracks were played. If the tracks could never be traced, then there was no issue of demanding a royalty’s check every time a DJ performed the song in the club.
When a DJ gets registered to KUVO, he or she has to unveil every piece of information about the tracks that are going to be played at the club. When such information is revealed, the copyright owners of the track can hold the DJs accountable for playing their songs. They would then, have a justifiable reason to ask for performance loyalties, and the DJ’s would be bound to pay up the money.
According to many DJs, this restricts the creativity and spontaneity of their music. In addition to that, the access to their playlist information could lead to a series of legal complications for them and their labels. Whenever performance loyalties are involved, legal problems are sure to follow.
This is a massive inconvenience for the DJs. DJs may be prevented from playing certain songs at the clubs simply because they cannot afford to pay the royalties. Under these circumstances, a DJ’s performance will be significantly hampered and he or she may lose a huge number of followers. The worst case scenario is that KUVO DJs or KUVO clubs could get sued for copyright infringement.
Pioneer’s Take on Royalty
Pioneer, on the other hand, are trying to see the silver lining to this cloud. They believe that KUVO will actually help DJs to distribute performance royalties in a more systematic way. They believe that it would improve transparency in the distribution system of royalties, and that the artists, producers and labels will all finally be able to acquire their fair share of money from the performance of DJs. They have announced that they are partnering with Association for Electronic Music to ensure that “payments end up in the right hands”.
DJs who are concerned about the two aforementioned disadvantages of KUVO are not too certain about jumping on Pioneer DJ’s bandwagon just yet. Registering to KUVO can not only end up costing them more money, but also lead to an irrevocable decline in followers.
However, most DJs applaud Pioneer DJ’s initiative. They understand the importance of sharing and spreading information in this modern age of social media technology. They are eagerly looking forward to interacting with the fans through KUVO.
For now, it’s safe to say that KUVO holds great potential for improving the lives and work of DJs. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing depends solely on how a DJ can make use of it.