(Original Message) Sent: 9/15/2006 12:35 AM
Rich Wells is a disc jockey who has provided music for more than 600 weddings
in Cincinnati since 1992. It has been a good business, earning him an average of $650 for five hours of work.
But Mr. Wells sees
a competitor on the horizon: iPods and other digital music players. Instead of hiring DJs like Mr. Wells, some couples are
choosing the tunes themselves. They are programming music into iPods for their receptions and plugging the device into sound
systems so guests can dance to such wedding stalwarts as the "Chicken Dance" and the "Macarena."
Some agencies that
book DJs and audio rental companies sense a business opportunity: They are renting iPods programmed with wedding music and
sound equipment. The 51-year-old Mr. Wells, though, isn't pleased. "Honestly, I felt a little threatened" by the use of wedding
iPods, he says, adding that he thinks the trend "will run its course."
But many DJs
fear this newfangled music system isn't a fad. Ken Wilson, a 47-year-old DJ in San Diego, says his colleagues have
called iPods the "downfall of the DJ industry."
companies say they are seeing an increase in customers renting amplifiers and sound systems, which can cost $150 on average
for the evening. By contrast, the cost of a professional DJ varies by location. In Cincinnati, DJs typically charge
$125 an hour; in Austin, Texas, it is as much as $800 for six hours. In Manhattan, the price can skyrocket to $4,000 for five
hours of work. John Ragusa, owner of John Ragusa Music, a New York-based company that books bands and DJs, estimates he may
have lost about 3% of his wedding business last year to iPod users, but he still was hired for 80 events.
Yet more DJs
are working in the business now than a decade ago, and they aren't lacking for work. In 2005, 72% of the 2.3 million weddings
in the U.S. had entertainment provided by DJs vs. 30% of about the same number of weddings in 1992, says the trade
group National Association of Mobile Entertainers.
DJs say that despite
the convenience and cost efficiency of iPods, the tiny music player is no match for a DJ's musical timing and experience with
song selection. "DJs can think on the fly and make adjustments," says Mr. Ragusa. "The whole idea of a party is that it's
fluid. It's dynamic. It's an art."
AND NOW THE
7 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOT SAY TO A DJ
-by unknown author-
1. "play something good, something we can
the dj has to play for more than 1 person. so what
you hate, may be another's favorite song. And
everything can be danced to, one way or another.
2. "would you play something with a beat"
be serious. we know of no song that doesn't have
some sort of a beat.
3. "i don't know who sings it. i don't know
the name of it,
but it goes
please don't sing for the dj. that's what karaoke
4."everybody wants to hear it"
yes we know, you polled everybody in the club and
as their spokesperson, you're requesting the song.
5."i want to hear it next"
the only people that can get away with that statement
is the one paying the dj.
6. "what do you have?"
it's alot easier for you to have another drink and
figure out what you want to hear and/or sing, than
it is for the dj to recite the names of every
song in the book.
7. "play it soon because we're leaving"
if you're going to leave after the dj plays it,
why shouldn't he/she wait till the very last song
so that you stay all night.