DJ Music Store Price Comparison (2016 Edition)

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There are only a handful of online DJ music stores out there – but still enough that it’s not always clear where DJs can look the best deals. We decided to take on the challenge for you, crunching the numbers to find out what the average prices of 320 MP3s and WAV tracks are on Beatport, Wasabeat, TrackItDown, Juno Download, Traxsource, WhatPeoplePlay, and Bleep. Keep reading to find out what sites to shop around and what type of prices to expect when buying DJ music.

A few weeks ago we covered an enterprising data scientist (and DJ) who did an analysis of Beatport’s music library versus Amazon’s – the results of which showed that Amazon skewed cheaper, but only if you were willing sacrifice bit rate. Commenters rightly suggested that an analysis of the actual pricing of stores for DJs might be a more interesting analysis. While we didn’t write a Java script to pull thousands of data points, we have collected a significant amount of data that gives some good indications about what pricing is like.

Each DJ music store has their own advantages and disadvantages, features, selection, unique user interfaces, etc – and all of them are generally positive experiences. But this article isn’t about the experience – it’s purely about price. Here’s what we found:

DJ Music Store Price Comparison: Results + Data

dj-music-stores-price-comparison-320-wav
Average prices of 320s and WAVs – click to zoom.

A few very important notes:

  • Bleep tends to be a very specialized, highly-curated store (see how it holds up way less well in the “Track Availability” section below).
  • Bleep also occasionally offers 24-bit WAV files, priced at a higher price (usually $2.19) than WAV / FLAC files. This store is pretty awesome – we wish their selection was wider, but it’s more like a real online record store instead of a supermarket of music.
  • Most stores have a flat fee for increasing to lossless – 75¢ on Beatport, 30¢ on Wasasbeat, etc.
  • Beatport is absolutely the “one stop shop” for many DJs for a few other factors not reflected in this graphic – keep reading to find out what else might be important.

How did this analysis work? In addition to a handful of tracks from my own personal shopping for a recent DJ gig, I wanted to have a data set that allowed every store to have at least 10 tracks to average out. In the analysis, I’ve included the top 10 tracks from each store’s top selling list (if the songs repeated at all, I skipped the repeating tracks. For Bleep, which lumps Tracks and Releases into one list, individual tracks were selected off of each album on the Top Downloads list). In total I collected prices and availability data on 80 tracks from various genres, most of which are recent releases.

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at Mar 14.47.25 AM

Want to see the data that we collected for this price comparison? We’ve made the Google Sheet publicly viewable here.
Notes on the data: All data was collected on March 13th, 2016 – prices and availability will change. Obviously even more data points would be ideal (although 80 is a solid foundation), so if you think you could help with automating this process, please email editor@djtechtools.com!

Beatport Coupon Codes: One of the important things to consider is that prices for DJ music stores are often dramatically changed with regular coupon codes. Based on posts around the web, on dedicated Facebook groups, and on DJ forums, Beatport has had a coupon deal going for at least 50% of the year over the last two years. These coupons average about 10% – 15% off, although sometimes (particularly during November) they can go higher. While you can’t always rely on there being an active coupon (for instance, right now there is no active Beatport coupon that we’ve seen), it is a common enough occurence that many DJs can expect their pricing

What About Track Availability?

Why are some of these stores like Bleep, WPP, and Wasabeat so much cheaper? There’s a number of reasons, but one of them is that they tend to have much smaller libraries. This is a big part of why a site like Beatport is so useful – it has a bigger library than most others. Here’s what percentage of the songs used in this analysis were available on each site:

  • Beatport: 80%
  • Juno Download: 78.75%
  • TrackItDown: 55%
  • Traxsource: 55%
  • Wasabeat: 43.75
  • WhatPeoplePlay: 40%
  • Bleep: 16.25%

Why Isn’t iTunes or Amazon Included?

We know that two of the most popular online stores for buying music are absent from this analysis – and the answer is very simple: bit rate. Neither of these stores typically sell music at the minimum accepted bit rate (320 kbps) for music that you would DJ with. Yes, some iTunes tracks are available in AAC via iTunes Plus/Match, but most of them are not. Ultimately, these stores are made for music consumers, not for DJs, and as such we’ve not included them in this analysis.

Editor’s Update: Whoops, looks like iTunes has been selling AAC files for a while now. We’ll update the article when we get a chance to do all 80 tracks on iTunes.

However, there might be other stores that we’ve missed out on that deserve to be added to this comparison – if you know of some, let us know in the comments! Or even copy the spreadsheet data and make your own analysis of the provided tracks to see how other stores fair.

Have your own opinions about the prices on online digital DJ music stores? Let us know in the comments. 

  • midfield_general

    You left out Clone.nl from your comparison

  • Dj Richi AC

    well is true that in traxsource sometimes you don’t get some tracks but there is this other scenario where i wanted to buy a song that they have (in traxsource) and you couldn’t find it anywhere else (like beatport for instance).

  • musicat

    Please, forget all these the stores. If you buy music in these stores you mostly support the store, then the distributor, then the label, and just finally the artist, who only get cents for his/her work, altough he/she is the most important part in this process.
    Support directly the artists, and use services like Bandcamp if possibble.

    • Dj Richi AC

      totally agree with this

  • John Viera

    Is iTunes as good for digging as Beatport? How are the tools compared to Beatport? My Beatport really helps me out. And I’ve built a nice workflow.

  • DJ TeeOh “The Official”

    I wonder how Beatport is going to fair now that the company is being sold off.

  • mikefunk

    Ripoff is going well I see. In past you could by CD with Wav file on it and with some artwork. Now you can get virtual file for same price. No CD. No artwork. Same price. Rip Off

  • Kamza

    What about including a STEMS availability and pricing comparison between these stores?

  • Tekl

    Bandcamp.com is missing. The best place to find new and unkown artists. And you can choose how the files should be encoded.

    • nprev

      Yep.

      They do all formats: AIFF, WAV, MP3, FLAC, OGG, etc. And they’re all paid for at the SAME price!

  • AWal

    Where one would get digital tracks is always an interesting topic to me, as I’m always searching for the best deal, especially when it’s fair to the artist as well. Since 7Digital has started pushing for more lossless format stuff on their platform, they have been a good option for me in the event that I couldn’t find the same song on TrackItDown. I’m also surprised that TrackItDown: Pro wasn’t mentioned at all, which would be benefitial to anyone (like me) who is used to grabbing more than 10 new tracks a month.

  • Quenepas

    Very helpful article. Thanks. 1) is this going to be an annual thing? (it says 2016) It would be very helpful if it did. 2) Last time I heard about the Beatport woes was that it was bankrupt?! What happened there? 3) Do any of these stores sell DRM riddled music? I’m not sure if Spotify would DRM the shitzniz out of those “listen while offline” tracks and iTunes used to but it was a long time ago. Alright, back to under my stone 😀

  • Carl Franchuk

    great article totally enjoyed it now how about doing 1 on subscription services. i use this instead of individual stores like this article. compare Zip dj to ERG, and promo only. most of us dj’s dont have a fortune to spend on getting specific tracks in a list so we use subscriptions.

  • Google Play Music only does 320 kbps for MP3 and it’s much cheaper

  • blulabel

    I only purchase lossless files and I use digital-tunes.net. The price is the same for mp3 320, wav or flac and they range from $1USD to $1.36USD. Granted the selection is not as deep as others but I’m ok with that, since there are plenty of good tracks if you dig, and I feel it helps me find tracks others may not.

  • Nik Howard

    Dan, thanks for the work on this. Thought Bleep looked and sounded amazing till I saw the availability. Whilst I don’t have loads of money spare, the convenience and range (and vouchers) of Beatport wins out.

  • Selekta

    i use the lovely app from Trackhunter.co.uk to find new tunes, and get the best prices shown to me for what quality i want to buy…oh yeah, and its a free app…aggregates all of the tunes from the top dj sites, lets me add to a ‘shortlist’ or crate, and lets me listen to all the new stuff while running in the background while i do other things…can’t beat it!

  • nprev

    No Bandcamp?

  • Omers

    I would include Google Play Music as well; Not only is it cheaper than most sources if you’re an All Access subscriber you get an additional 10% discount. Obscuritè.chno is $1.99 CAD or you can get it with Obscuritè and Obscuritè (Dub) for $3.49 CAD ($1.16/track.)

  • ModusJesus

    Also, beatport coupons don’t apply to lossless formats, which blows.

  • ModusJesus

    What sucks about beatport is the added tax of lossless or uncompressed. It’s absolutely absurd to charge what they charge for superior formats, given that storage and bandwidth are cheap.

    • mikefunk

      All files are stared in lossless format on Beatport. Only when you buy MP3 its compressed live and delivered to you. They don’t even store MP3 at all.

  • Paul van Groove

    i use qobuz.com for a lot of my purchases. They might not offer ALL DJ related music, but have a nice selection of house (especially french electro), Hip Hop, R&B, Soul, Pop and Rock. If you can live without BPM and key, you find WAV and FLAC starting at 99 Euro-Cent and at a good portion also 24-bit files for the same price that others charge for MP3 or plain WAV.

  • Smokin J

    It’s a shame stompy is gone. I use iTunes for 90% of my music. It’s just simple and all the music is available on all my devices without any real effort. Hate to say my other 10% of music I play and listen too comes from Spotify. Sure I cannot keep the music from Spotify but it’s pretty much there when needed. I find a lot of music I buy through Spotify and just browsing iTunes. I’ve got so much music I’ve never even listened too. But anyway finding music I like isn’t as hard as it once was

  • Pterp

    I don’t get it why you didn’t include iTunes – the tracks are 256kbit AAC which is as good as 320kbit MP3 or even better.

    • SVRKM

      It’s even better than 320kbps MP3 !!!

      • Pterp

        I prefer AAC over MP3, too – I think there was even an article in DJTT about file formats

    • Spacecamp

      Fair point. I’ll add them to this later today, timing permitting 🙂

      • Eckhankar

        Please also double check if it is legal to actually use music purchased from iTunes and Amazon in a uploaded mix or a DJ set.

        • Pterp

          I think thats an different point – because the club or event “manager” has to deal with the royalities and pay them to the respective organization.

          • He does have a point.

            The venues have to be licensed for public performance but your files have to be “for professional use”. There’s more than one licence involved (mechanical rights, PRS etc).

            The terms on which they are sold to you vary from store to store and some can be for domestic use only. Crazy but worth checking which stores allow professional use.

      • Pterp

        Thank you ;)! Just wanted to mention the point –
        Btw. I double checked my itunes library and every song seems to be 256kbits

      • Where is the iTunes update?
        I was wondering as well when I read this first. Every track in iTunes is 256kbps AAC (which is better than 320kbps MP3) since the second quarter of 2009!

  • NKLY

    I’m a big fan of 7digital. Prices are almost always lower than Beatport, they sell 320kbps AACs and FLAC, and while they don’t always have the newest tracks they usually get them eventually.

  • Is tax already included.
    I know Beatport will add tax (off course) seperately when the bill has been made up.
    As I remember: the prizes of each track of the store “What people play” tax is already included.

    • Spacecamp

      I never get taxed on Beatport purchases that I can see…. anyone else have experiences here? Happy to revise the article with any additional info 🙂

      • Jack Daniels

        20% tax added in the UK.

        • Phil Morse

          Reason is the EU point of consumption VAT rules as of 1 Jan 2015. Companies now have to charge the VAT rate where YOU are, not where THEY are. Not all are doing it, but they should by law. We had to implement it selling online DJ training for all 29 EU VAT territories. Oh, the joy.

      • dibb

        21% tax added in the Netherlands.

      • +19% in Germany