Where do DJs Get Music? 10 Powerful Music Sources for DJs

Where do DJs get Music - DJ music download sources
Where do DJs get Music - DJ music download sources

Where Do DJs Get Music?

Are you struggling to find quality music to play in your next DJ set?

DJs, be it novices or veterans, are always on the hunt for fresh music to keep their audiences engaged and entertained.

The music industry has come a long way since the days of vinyl records and CDs and the rise of digital music has made it easier for DJs to access and download music, but often we’re asked where do DJs get music.

In this article, we will delve into the different sources that DJs use to get their music, including digital music platforms, DJ music sites and blogs, and even underground networks. After that, we’ll serve up different paid and free resources to give you a competitive edge in your DJ sets. Let’s dive in!

Key DJ Music Download Takeaways

  • DJs often get their music inspiration a few keys sources including streaming platforms, listening to others mixes and even at live events
  • There are various ways that DJs get their hands on new music, from paid DJ record pools to genre-specific charting websites
  • Whilst it’s much harder to get free music as a DJ, there are still some creative ways to get your hands on music without splashing out

1. SoundCloud

Where Do DJs Get Music?

SoundCloud is a renowned digital arena, patronized by DJs around the world in quest of finding and procuring music.

This platform houses a massive community of artists, composers, and DJs who utilize SoundCloud as a means to showcase their musical creations and connect with fellow industry professionals.

The platform’s extensive repertoire of music, inclusive of original compositions and remixed tracks, deems it a premier source for DJs seeking novel and distinctive tracks for their performance sets.

One of SoundCloud’s distinctive traits is its sophisticated tagging system, enabling users to upload their adaptations of popular tracks through tags such as “remix.” This attribute makes SoundCloud a valuable source for DJs searching for fresh perspectives on familiar tracks and incorporating remixes into their performance sets.

Aside from the music itself, SoundCloud also provides DJs with an environment to intermingle and network with fellow DJs, musicians, and producers.

This opportunity offers DJs the chance to expand their professional network, leading to prospective opportunities, including accessing tracks not uploaded onto the platform.

2. Spotify

Where Do DJs find Music?

Spotify, the widely utilized digital musical bastion, is a mecca for DJs seeking to enhance their musical collections.

As a popular streaming platform among over 365 million monthly users, it is a highly coveted destination for music producers to showcase their works, thereby affording DJs an unparalleled selection of songs to choose from.

At the heart of Spotify’s appeal to DJs lies its vast library of 50 million tracks, offering a wealth of options for discovering and incorporating fresh and unparalleled sounds into their sets.

With constant updates of the latest releases from an eclectic array of artists, as well as its innovative automated weekly playlists that adjust to the listener’s auditory preferences, Spotify stands as a premier source for staying current in the rapidly evolving music industry.

Spotify presents itself as a must-explore platform for any DJ seeking to elevate their musical library.

Whether an aspiring DJ or seasoned DJ, utilize Spotify as a means to find new tracks and incorporate them into your music collection.

3. YouTube

Where Do DJs source Music?

YouTube, a renowned video-sharing platform, is a hidden gem for disc jockeys searching for musical riches.

Despite not being the conventional source of tunes for DJs, YouTube presents an abundance of musical treasures. The primary advantage of employing YouTube as a musical source for DJs is the sheer diversity of musical offerings it provides.

With millions of videos uploaded to the platform, DJs have the ability to discover unique and novel compositions to incorporate into their sets.

YouTube offers a wealth of musical content, including official music videos and live performances, that can serve as a source of creative stimulation for DJs.

Another benefit of YouTube’s utilization by DJs is its convenience. Disc jockeys can navigate the platform to search for music, preview tracks, and create playlists to organize their preferred tunes with little effort.

This makes YouTube a convenient option for busy DJs who require quick access to new tracks for their sets.

Many underground artists use YouTube to upload bootlegs (unofficial remixes) that they could not otherwise publish through official distribution channels. Many artists use YouTube’s platform to premier their tracks before it hits the shelf.

4. Social Media

DJ music download - social media

Through the use of online social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, disc jockeys are able to tap into a new realm of music discovery.

By leveraging the power of these platforms, DJs can make valuable connections with other DJs, musicians, and producers, as well as keep a keen eye on the pulse of the latest trends and releases in the music industry.

Social media provides a myriad of opportunities for DJs to discover up-and-coming artists, whose sounds they may not have had the chance to experience otherwise.

Many musicians and producers turn to social media to showcase their music and cultivate relationships with their fans, creating a hub of new and intriguing sounds just waiting to be discovered by discerning DJs.

In addition to discovering new tracks, social media also provides DJs access to a network of like-minded novices and professionals. Through participating in groups and communities centered around electronic dance music, hip-hop, and other genres, as well as following their favorite DJs and producers, disc jockeys can stay informed about their latest creations.

Social media serves as a platform for DJs to foster their industry connections and cultivate their network. By sharing their sets and engaging with others in the industry, DJs are able to increase their visibility and open up new avenues for growth and opportunity.

5. Podcasts

Where Do DJs hear new Music?

Music aficionados who seek to broaden their horizons as DJs can find a wealth of tunes through podcasts.

Even though this option means a more focused and discerning approach, podcasts that revolve around music are available on platforms such as Apple Music & Spotify.

One of the key benefits of podcasts as a DJ’s musical resource is the opportunity to unearth tunes that are uncommon and exclusive, and may not be attainable from other sources.

Many of these podcasts feature tracks from up-and-coming artists, as well as musical pieces from well-known musicians that may not receive widespread recognition.

Podcasts also offer DJs a chance to delve into various genres, sub-genres, and music scenes. A significant number of podcasts center around particular genres or scenes, and they often have interviews with musicians, DJs, and industry specialists who share their expertise and insider information.

Beyond simply discovering music, podcasts can also serve as a font of inspiration and learning for newer DJs. Many podcasts delve into the latest trends and advancements in the DJ industry, and provide tips and tricks for refining DJ techniques and skills.

6. Shazam

Where Do DJs get Music?

Shazam, often dubbed the number one musical discovery app, empowers its users to discover a particular song and then delve deeper into the artist behind the track.

The platform is a valuable asset for disc jockeys seeking to expand their musical library and add fresh tracks to their playlists.

One of the crucial benefits for DJs leveraging Shazam as their musical source is the ability to effortlessly identify tunes that they come across on the radio, at events or in clubs.

Simply holds your phone close to the sound source, and Shazam will immediately recognize the melody and give you information on the performer and album.

Shazam grants DJs the possibility to uncover new music and maintain a record of their favorite tracks. The app meticulously archives all the songs the user has recognized and offers easy access to this information, facilitating the creation of playlists and unearthing fresh tracks, even suggesting new ones based on the user’s musical taste.

Lastly, Shazam keeps DJs abreast of the latest releases and musical trends. The app showcases charts and recommendations founded on the songs and artists the user has previously recognized, as well as providing updates on imminent releases and concerts.

7. Music Blogs

Where Do DJs learn about new Music?

Music blogs serve as a treasure trove for disc jockeys seeking fresh sounds. With Feedspot, a collection of top-notch music blogs, scouring through a plethora of genres has never been simpler – from the Top 100 EDM Blogs to more niche genres.

One of the key benefits of relying on music blogs as a DJ’s audio source lies in staying abreast of the most recent trends and releases. These blogs typically provide critiques and suggestions for the newest albums, singles, EPs, and much more, along with details about upcoming events and concerts.

Music blogs also provide an avenue for discovering burgeoning artists. They frequently offer interviews and profiles of rising musicians and producers, and provide information about their music and future projects.

In conclusion, music blogs offer a wealth of information and perspectives on diverse genres and scenes. Many music blogs concentrate on specific genres or scenes, offering in-depth articles and features that deepen the understanding of these musical styles and communities.

8. Tracklists

Where Do DJs Get tracks?

DJs can greatly benefit from websites that collect and catalog tracklists, such as 1001tracklists.com. These (often free) resources offer a plethora of new and exciting music to explore and can serve as a valuable tool in elevating the DJ’s sets.

One of the key benefits of utilizing tracklists is the ability to uncover new and undiscovered music being played by other DJs.

By accessing the tracklists from live performances and DJ sets, DJs can stay current with the latest and greatest songs and artists that are making waves in the club scene.

Tracklists provide DJs with an opportunity to study the music programming and selection of prominent DJs.

By examining the tracklists of successful DJs, one can gain valuable insights into how they build their sets, the genres of music they prefer, and how they seamlessly transition from one song to the next. This information can prove to be an invaluable resource for DJs looking to refine their skills and improve their performances.

9. Radio

Where Do DJs hear new Music?

As a disc jockey, radio can be an asset to your musical sourcing efforts.

Whether you prefer conventional FM broadcasts or online streaming services like iHeart and Online Radio Box, radio affords you the opportunity to delve into an ocean of music and stay informed about the latest releases and trends.

One of radio’s most remarkable assets as a DJ music source is the ability to unearth novel melodies. By tuning into various radio stations, you can sample fresh tunes and artists and determine if they are suitable for your sets.

Radio offers the benefit of keeping you current with the most recent musical offerings and developments. Many radio stations boast updated playlists and new music which they feature regularly, serving DJs a constant source of fresh beats.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, radio also provides access to an array of musical genres and subcultures. No matter if you’re a fan of electronic dance music, hip-hop, rock, or any other genre, you’re likely to find a radio station that caters to your musical inclinations.

10. Clubs, Festivals, Concerts & Gigs

DJ music download websites

As a DJ, going to clubs, festivals, concerts, and gigs can bring a rich spring of musical stimulation.

By diving into the world of live music events and shows, DJs can come across fresh sounds, stay abreast of the newest releases and styles, and grasp the techniques of music selection and programming done by other DJs.

One of the major benefits of being present at live music events as a source of musical influence for DJs is the opportunity to unearth new music.

By witnessing live performances, you can listen to unfamiliar songs and artists and determine if they would be suitable for your sets, and also observe the dancefloor’s response to specific songs and transitions.

Additionally, participating in live music events enables DJs to remain updated with the current releases and trends. Many festivals, concerts, and gigs showcase new music and musicians, offering DJs with a steady source of fresh tunes.

Building a DJ Music Library

Now we have extensively covered where DJs can find inspiration and source tracks for their future sets, we will cover where DJs can pick up these tracks. 

Next, we’ll look at paid music platforms and resources that allow you to get the selected tracks in the highest quality, legally and with peace of mind.

After that, we’ve also included 5 free platforms you can use to download tracks for your set as a bonus for our readers.

Paid Music Resources

It’s no secret that paid music services, both subscription and one off purchasing, give DJs the most flexibility and variety when choosing tracks to heat up the dance floor. Here’s 10 of the best paid resources that DJs of all caliber need to know.

1. DJ Record Pools

Where Do DJs download new Music?

DJ Record pools are subscription services that furnish access to a substantial library of tracks, and come at a cost of recurring fees. This is a prime opportunity for DJs to build a comprehensive collection of new, engaging music and save time in the process.

However, these pools can prove to be expensive for amateur DJs with limited funds, and some even necessitate a disclaimer to be signed, acknowledging the exclusive use of tracks for DJing purposes only.

Sources such as ZipDJ and DJCity are ideal starting points for your DJ pool journey, although it’s crucial to note that some pools cater to specific genres, thus affecting the cost and availability. If you’re looking to dig deeper, our guide to the Top 10 DJ Pools is a valuable resource.

2. Beatport

Where Do DJs download new Music?

Beatport, the ultimate digital platform for dance music aficionados, offers a range of opportunities for DJs to uncover, preview, and acquire tracks.

Established in 2005, this website has earned a reputation for being the quintessential destination for acquiring a vast range of dance music sub-genres.

The website features a sophisticated discovery experience, an agile web player, and a neat arrangement of sub-genres into comprehensible charts, which helps to explain its dominance in the dance music industry.

Whether a novice or an experienced DJ, Beatport’s expansive library of tracks, both classic and contemporary, promises hours of delightful music exploration.

The introduction of Beatport Stream (previously known as Beatport Link) in 2019 has upended the DJ community, offering the capability to stream music from the catalog to compatible DJ software and controllers. This innovative tool has revolutionized the way many DJs approach their craft.

3. Juno Download

Where Do DJs download new Music?

As an electronic dance music DJ, Juno Download is a must-have in your collection of music resources.

Established in 2006, it’s an autonomous online dance music store that boasts a vast library of musical pieces, covering a range of genres within electronic dance music. The store offers tracks in high-quality, uncompressed file formats, much like Beatport.

With Juno Download, you can keep tabs on other DJs by utilizing its “DJ Charts” and “New Releases” categories. This way, you can stay updated on the latest tracks and add them to your playlists.

You can set up “new release alerts,” which will notify you via email whenever your preferred artists or labels put out fresh tracks (which we think is a game changer).

If you’re an electronic music DJ, Juno Download is one resource we strongly recommend due to its established platform, ease of use and wide range of selection.

4. Apple Music

Where Do DJs download new Music?

Apple Music provides a plethora of tracks that caters to pretty much every genre a DJ would need.

With a single subscription, you are given the chance to delve into over a hundred million songs. The video and music streaming service allows you to play tracks on-demand, add them to your personal playlists, or even download them for offline use.

Once known as iTunes, Apple Music has progressed into a standalone application that is part of Apple’s mission to broaden its range of products.

This feature makes it a valuable resource for DJs as the platform offers easy access to the latest tracks and albums by popular artists, guaranteeing the curation of playlists with the freshest beats.

5. Amazon Music

Where Do DJs get new Music?

Amazon Music, a music streaming service that is part of an Amazon Prime membership. This musical trove provides access to over 40 million songs, classified into thousands of playlists, offering a vast array of musical choices for DJs to incorporate into their sets.

Amazon Music parallels the likes of Apple Music and Spotify, and we view it as an additional perk for those who possess an Amazon Prime membership.

6. Traxsource

Where Do DJs download new tracks?

Traxsource, the pioneering digital platform, made its debut at the onset of the digital era and quickly established itself as a go-to source for house music and house DJs.

Crafted by DJs, the site has matured into one of the premier online resources for DJs seeking both mainstream and independent music.

Traxsource boasts of an exclusive collection of tracks that are unique to its platform, regularly updating its rankings such as the top 100 and various other categories with the newest releases.

7. Bleep

Where Do DJs download new tunes?

Bleep is an online destination that offers music downloads, vinyl, CDs, and cassettes, and is more ‘underground’ than other platforms on the market.

The platform prioritizes independent artists and boasts a robust collection of diverse genres, such as hip hop and house, thus making the task of discovering music for DJs effortless. Bleep’s main target audience is electronic house DJs.

With its “weekly roundup,” Bleep helps direct you to the latest and greatest releases, and its “recommended” section can assist you in discovering contemporary artists and tracks that you can incorporate into your DJ sets.

8. Boomkat

Where Do DJs download new tunes?

Boomkat, know for its musical diversity and exclusivity, offers a huge selection of vinyl, CDs, cassettes, and digital downloads through its online marketplace.

As a haven for some of the most innovative, exceptional, and often overlooked sounds, this independent record store showcases an eclectic array of genres and styles.

From the obscure and unusual to the emerging and underground, Boomkat is a veritable treasure trove of musical discoveries, providing intrepid music lovers and DJs with access to the freshest, most exciting sounds before they hit the mainstream.

Whether you’re searching for cutting-edge beats or obscure gems, Boomkat’s diverse musical offerings are sure to satisfy your thirst for musical discovery and inspire your next DJ set.

9. Last.fm Pro

Where Do DJs get new tunes?

Last.fm is an innovative musical hub that sets itself apart from its competition by building detailed user profiles using a cutting-edge music suggestion engine referred to as “Audioscrobbler.”

Through recording your musical tastes by cataloging the tracks you choose to listen to on internet radio stations, your computer, or even your mobile device, your profile becomes a reflection of your audio preferences.

Upon “scrobbling” your musical selections, the information is then transferred to Last.fm’s database via whichever music player you are using, ultimately presenting itself on your profile page for your perusal.

Based on the taste revealed in your profile, Last.fm will provide recommendations and suggest tracks that match with your musical tastes, in addition to offering the opportunity to engage with a thriving community, presenting a unique chance to discover new music as a DJ.

For those seeking extra features and benefits, Last.fm also provides a “pro” paid version, offering enhanced assistance in your pursuit of new musical finds to incorporate into your DJ sets.

10. Record Shops

Where Do DJs download music?

In pursuit of a more tangible means to source music for your DJ sets, there’s nothing quite like the adventure of perusing the shelves at a physical record store.

Though they’re becoming increasingly rare, with a little research you can often find one within reach.

These vintage music emporiums hold numerous overlooked musical gems, and scouring secondhand shops could lead you to unearth a trove of vinyl and CDs ripe for the picking.

Not only do you save on shipping fees, but you also contribute to the support of local businesses. Take advantage of the opportunity to query the store’s staff, who may be able to steer you towards exciting new artists and trending genres that have yet to make it onto your radar.

[BONUS] Free Music Resources for DJs

If you’re a DJ seeking to maintain a budget-friendly method of acquiring music for your sets, then the digital arena is home to numerous gratis platforms that can supply you with innovative and electrifying tracks. To aid your search, we have curated a list of a top-notch, free sources for DJs to obtain music.

1. Free Music Archive

Where Do DJs get new tunes?

The Free Music Archive is a digital vault of royalty-free melodies, crafted by a diverse community of autonomous musicians. Browsing through the extensive collection of genres and artists is a breeze, thanks to the streamlined search functions, making it a fantastic source for unique tracks to incorporate into your DJ sets.

2. Soundcloud

Where Do DJs download free tunes?

As mentioned earlier during the sourcing section, SoundCloud serves as a fantastic wellspring for both gratuitous and premium music. Upon registering for a user account, DJs can delve into their massive database of tracks and discover novel compositions and rare remixes to infuse into their DJ sets.

Investing time on SoundCloud is worthwhile, as the platform houses a plethora of artists eager to promote their music and are often willing to offer their compositions for free.

Additionally, SoundCloud is compatible with the majority of free DJ software, simplifying the task of organizing a library and prepping a set full of thrilling tracks.

3. Bandcamp

Where Do DJs download free tunes?

Bandcamp is a renowned American digital music firm that facilitates the exchange of music between fans, artists, and record labels alike.

Although it is primarily a paid platform, occasionally, they do provide complimentary music files and by subscribing to the newsletters of your preferred musicians, you may periodically receive tracks delivered straight to your inbox, or have the discretion to decide the amount you wish to pay for them.

4. Social Media

Where Do DJs download free tunes?

Social media is a valuable asset in discovering music, but it also serves as a prime source for downloading complimentary tracks, such as independently release tracks and bootlegs.

Emerging music producers use social media to showcase their work to DJs, and Facebook groups offer an opportunity to secure a bag of complimentary music.

Occasionally, top artists have been known to offer a complimentary track or two to celebrate a significant event.

Although the quality of such music may not always be exceptional, as long as a DJ has obtained proper permission to use it, it can be utilized for an array of purposes.

5. Bensound

Where Do DJs download free tunes?

Bensound is a highly regarded platform by multimedia content curators and music supervisors for its ample stock of royalty-free tracks.

This entails that one can legally obtain free DJ music from the site and apply it to their DJ sets, mixtapes, or other forms of digital media such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram videos.

The website displays an extensive variety of musical genres, granting users expeditious access to a directory of compositions by merely clicking on their preferred classification.

By clicking on a particular composition, one can obtain additional information about the track, including a sneak peek, download link, and comprehensive data regarding any permits that may accompany it.

Although Bensound is primarily intended for audio accompaniments, a creative DJ can undoubtedly extract valuable resources from Bensound.

DJ Music FAQs

Where do DJs get music?

The seasoned DJ cultivates their library from record pools, mainstream downloading platforms and independent music services tailored to their unique style. Dedicated DJs remain in constant communication with the community, seeking out new industry opportunities to network with their peers, all in an effort to stay at the forefront of the art form.

Where can I learn to DJ?

If you’re an aspiring beginner DJ looking to set off on your djing journey, we highly recommend checking out 10 Powerful Steps to Learn How to Start Djing to get you started. Djing is an exciting and rewarding challenge, and can be a great creative outlet for many, regardless of their previous experience with djing and pro audio.

Where do DJ get their music for free?

With an abundant wealth of resources at their fingertips, DJs have the opportunity to obtain music free of charge. While platforms like the Free Music Archive, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud are well-established sources for securing tracks, the trailblazing DJ can explore the uncharted waters of lesser-known, royalty-free platforms that evade the attention of the typical beat-spinner. In this manner, they can expand their musical repertoire while keeping everything above board and legal.

What music platforms do DJs use?

DJ record pools are a diverse resource for DJs of all levels, giving them unlimited access to often exclusive music releases. On top of record pools, there are an abundance of high quality platforms such as Beatport, Bandcamp, Juno Download, Apple Music, Amazon Music and much, much more.

Picture of Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith
As Visionary and Chief Editor of 122BPM, Thomas is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of music pioneers. With a degree in Music and 10 years industry experience, Thomas is now shaping 122BPM as the central hub for music and audio education.
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