In the wake of DJ Mag’s Top 100 list for 2016 freshly off the presses, the yearly outpourings of scorn and condemnation have already begun to seep out of the dance music community. The list is most often criticized for the integrity and skill of the DJs it tends to place near the top, as well as the methods some take to make sure their name is high enough on the pole.
In a post uploaded to his Facebook page this afternoon, 3LAU decided to combat the hate with a very particular explanation as to why the same DJ Mag ranking matters so much to those on the list. The main factor? Asia’s burgeoning dance music scene.
“When a DJ gets booked in most Asian countries to play a club, their fee is heavily dependent on their DJ mag ranking,” he wrote.
Rather than base performance fees on factors like social media numbers, play counts or previous ticket sales history, 3LAU wrote, club owners in Asia are forced to base their judgment about a DJ’s value on the Top 100 list. Because the scene in the region so new, this is one of the only metrics available for them. Adding in the extreme government internet censorship in countries like China that block out fans from experiencing music discovery in the same way as the West, the Top 100 list becomes a necessary beacon to gauge the DJs’ popularity.
“So, when the business men and club owners in Asia look to book DJs who might maximize their table / bottle sales revenue, they rely on the DJ Mag chart to assess relative popularity.”
For those artists looking to tour in Asian markets, 3LAU wrote, the cost of maintaining a high chart position on the list is worth it when thinking about the probability of increased DJ fees. Keeping this information secret has been a trend among DJs and managers alike due to the prevailing thought that its reveal might affect their future income, he continued.
Read 3LAU’s full Facebook post below.