Importance of taste-making DJs could grow in digital age

The growing range of Internet radio services are sending the message that DJs will become increasingly important in the future of digital music. New services are enlisting popular taste-makers to help build a reputation for music discovery, such as mflow’s partnership with Zane Lowe.

Soundcloud vice-president Dave Haynes, speaking at the Great Escape, said that John Peel was the leader of a tribe, and that more tastemakers would spring up with their own tribes in tow.

Services like Playdio and Spotify are using shareable playlists to drive user interaction, allowing people to intersperse songs with spoken links.

Absolute Radio CEO Clive Dickens pointed out that radio apps and podcasts of radio shows were among the most popular.

Whilst radio may be undergoing a major transitional phase, as with much of the established music industry, it would seem that there is still call for taste-makers and gatekeepers, despite increasing choice for music fans. Indeed, many are suggesting that radio will remain relevant precisely because there is so much choice, and that millions of people simply want to switch on to music, rather than spend time managing what they hear.

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