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EDM Snob Accuses DJ Mag Of Taking Payments For Features

In the latest chapter of the ongoing kerfuffle surrounding DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list, has accused the industry publishing giant of taking money in exchange for featuring the artists prominently in articles and features, citing a number of invoices that show artists like Ferry Corsten and Paul Van Dyke sending money to the magazine. In their blog post, EDM Snob goes on to call into question the inherit bias that DJ Mag then potentially has towards high-paying advertisers:

“Such large payments secretly changing hands between artists and DJ Mag call into question the impartiality of the magazine’s other ventures, especially the Top 100 DJ poll. While no evidence has been presented of any tampering or altering of results whatsoever, it is obvious a conflict of interest exists for an organization purporting to conduct an objective poll. The fact that this conflict of interest has not been addressed, either by refusing payments from Top 100 Poll participants, or at a minimum disclosing the conflict to the public, is greatly troubling.”

DJ Mag has responded this morning with their own explanation – that the invoices were only for legitimate advertising and CD covermount deals:

This can easily be verified by checking the magazine issues mentioned. They are not “secret documents” but are confidential company invoices and have been obtained without our consent.

We cannot stress enough that as guardians of the Top 100 DJs Poll we take the integrity of the Poll extremely seriously. […]

We view the obtaining of these invoices as a criminal matter and have contacted the police


Another interesting angle here is that both DJ Mag and EDM Snob stand to benefit from this ongoing drama. Being able to call out new cheaters and reveal them slowly, one at a time over the course of an investigation keeps DJ Mag in the minds of many (Editor’s Note: yes, covering this story furthers this process). In their response to EDM Snob’s accusations, DJ Mag even seems a touch jealous of the attention that EDM Snob is getting:

This stunt simply looks like an attempt to drive traffic and interest in EDM Snob’s blog, and divert attention away from our ongoing investigation into cheating in this year’s Poll.

Should DJ Mag really concerned about holding attention to their own investigation of cheaters? The ideal situation would be to just have a poll that doesn’t have a cheating scandal associated with it, right?

At the same time, EDM Snob – no matter if their allegations are well-founded or not, is getting a massive amount of traffic every time they try to reveal a new DJ-centered Watergate-style scandal. At the moment, EDM Snob remains ad-less, so there’s no direct correlation between pageviews and profit for them.


As many of our readers have noted on each new news item about DJ Mag’s poll and allegations surrounding it, does anyone really care about the DJ Mag Top 100 anymore? Judging by comments – our audience doesn’t, and the Top 100 list is more important to people who aren’t DJs (like promoters, who can easily sell out a night by telling people that the #14 DJ in the world is playing their event).  Let’s instead look forward to top DJ polls that not only have significance in terms of voting style, but also reveal new and rising stars to the community, like Resident Advisor’s Top 100 DJs survey.

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  • JC Bissonnette

    So what’s the difference between advertising yourself as a new DJ trying to build a fan base and a famous DJ looking for votes? Social media has made the option available and the DJ’s made the money to afford the big time fees. If you think you can put one song on soundcloud and its the most awesome song ever, then just sit back and wait for the calls to come in for a record deal you’ll be waiting a long time. This may happen to very very few people to get success so easy. So why is it so wrong for a famous DJ to make use of social media resources to gain popularity. We live in such a judgmental society now where people can hide behind computers and pass judgment on others so easily. I’m trying to make my way into the world of production and DJ’ing I have a tiny fan base and a few songs for sale hidden away on various sites, likely never to see the light of day. I used Facebook’s advertising to expand my reach and it worked pretty well. I guess to some that’s cheating? How the hell would anybody ever know who I am as a producer / DJ if I didn’t? I live in a small city with very few clubs and even fewer well known DJ’s. Seems like everybody is trying to topple Rome but what about when it’s gone then what do we do? I just want to make music and be able to live off that. Seems so crazy out there though and trying to get into the business seems like a lottery that only a few win.


  • dillinger23

    yawn. spoiled kid criticised other spoilt kid and no one actually cares… again, yawn.

  • GJ

    I have been and am a recording artist, I have been and am a music journalist, and I once was, and am now just getting back into DJing… I can tell you that this is not something specific to the “DJ industry” or EDM music in specific, but it is the way of the world, and has been going on _at least_ since Allan Freed and Dick Clark helped Rock & Roll cross-over to the mainstream, if not much, much longer. No nitch genre of music with a sizeable audience (Jazz, Blues, Rock, Rap, Country, Latin, R&B, or EDM) and a media support system (radio/TV/Internet/print publishing) is immune. The “payments” are nothing more or less than advertising buys or promotional expenses. There is no overt “payola” these days, but if you think that consideration isn’t given to those that spend a lot of coin on advertising with a particular publication or website, you are sorely mistaken, and you are also probably clueless about how business works in-general in a market economy such as ours.
    The best music is not alwasy at the top of the charts (although that would be nice) and “it takes money to make money,” as they say…

  • Ian Summers

    Oh my god, I don’t care!

    Who, other than the teenagers that need to be spoon fed culture and have their thinking done for them give a good god damn about that stupid list?


  • I have always been saying that online editorial groups who depend on advertising for money are more at risk of compromising their integrity. At Dj TechTools, 95% of our revenue comes from gear sales (which is totally transparent) so there are no hidden deals or dependencies on advertisers. Yes we review gear (fairly I hope) but at least it’s all transparent.

    • Hey Ean, I’d like to DONATE some promotional funds. Oh an article? You don’t have to….oh? Ok. Pictures too? Sure why not. (nudge nudge)….man i’m glad DJTT exists or otherwise guys like Guetta would just run everything into the ground.

    • PS – how about DJTT does it’s own digital magazine about under rated djs? Just regular djs doing their thing? We could submit videos and you guys could chose one each week. A section about the dj, their gear, favorite genre, where they perform, and a video. Nothing fancy but it would be awesome to get more DJTT fans involved. And at the end of 3 months, have a voting for the top dj. That dj will be one of 4 for the year and then you do a DJ of the Year. The winner gets some gear and/or to jam with MR. GOLDEN HIMSELF!!

    • Anon

      Honestly, as an independent artist who submits to a lot of blogs, a great deal of the blogs scouting for unsigned talent are getting paid for it. I have been asked for cash for a feature before, in the guise of a review.

  • Probably time to drop the DJ top 100. When the poll first started it included DJs now it’s full of producers. As for Snob(whatever).com, it’s not called a back hander, it’s called advertising and car manufacturers, camera and mobile phone companies produce advertising that look like articles all the time. If the people writing for Snob(I don’t have a clue about journalism).com actually knew anything about how the media works, then they would know this. I think DJ mag and snob(I can’t be arsed to find out what they’re really called).com are doing a pretty good job in destroying their own names, so carry on boys, I’m never going to read your crap anyway.

  • I’ve never read DJ mag, and I’ve never heard of EDM snob. So that’s my solution to this whole thing; I just listen to music, and find music on my own. I couldn’t imagine giving much of a shit about anything on the pages of DJ mag, or a blog that actually has “snob” in the title.

  • Douchebag says what

    What the snob didn’t think about when releasing this info today was the following.
    1- fans look at dj mag as a novelty. Nobody is biting their nails to find out the winner honestly.
    2- he promised to announce the cheaters of the poll, not the cheaters managers agents assistants who bought advertising.
    3- he still keeps this holier than though ego, and holds everyone to task, yet he’s using his job in a nightclub to access riders and info.

  • Lauti

    I preffer to read a review about the shittiest midi controller that I will never even see, than reading about this djmag stuff.

    • Spacecamp

      Thus the entire second half of this news article. It’s still “important news” in that our industry is talking about, but I’ve done my best to inject a bit of realistic perspective as to why it keeps getting brought up.

  • This is a very good and fair assessment of the whole thing. Great job.

    • Spacecamp

      Cheers, thanks for the read.

      How do you feel about some of the accusations I’ve read of you being a tabloid-style scandal-monger?

      • Who also doesn’t even allow comments on his articles. Whats the point if no one has an input accept him?

      • john Perez

        You hit the nail on the head, where there is no scandal he tries to create one. Big drama queen if you ask me.

  • are you surprised ? bullshit DJ’s needs bullshit magazines to sale there bullshit music.

    • J

      This is the best quote EVER regarding all the edm commercialized bullshit! thank you!

  • Anonymous

    Far, far more interested in who’s doing an Essential Mix this week than who got which number on an imaginary popularity list. Create! Make new things!