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How much does it cost to start a DJ business?

5 min read

10 July 2019

With the DJ landscape becoming increasingly digital, setting up a DJ business is now much less costly.

The costs of setting up a DJ business were once extortionate. In an era when DJ equipment wasn’t particularly sophisticated, putting together even a basic hardware setup just wasn’t an option for some. 

With the growing digitalisation of the DJ landscape, it’s now an entirely different story. These days, traditional DJ hardware in general can be replaced almost in its entirety by technology. Decks and controllers are all available as affordable digital devices. And all to the benefit of a new generation of cash-strapped DJs. 

How much does it cost to become a DJ?

Theoretically, you could invest as little as £250 and still be able to set up an entry-level DJ business. However, it’s worth remembering that the quality of the equipment you buy will be reflected in the quality of your work.

If you can’t afford to buy the gear you need outright, you can always consider affordable DJ finance options to spread the costs with monthly repayments.

Setting up as a digital DJ at home means covering a few comparatively affordable basics. If you have live performances in mind, you’ll need to invest in additional performance hardware. 

In any case, the primary costs of setting up a DJ business stem from the following:

A decent computer

You’ll spend a lot of time working on a computer, so it’s worth investing in a decent one. Avoid the temptation to spend less than say £400 on a laptop or PC, plus around £100 or so on a premium software suite. There are some free DJ software packages available, but they won’t have nearly the power or versatility you’ll be needing. 

DJ controller

A digital DJ controller will set you back anything from £80 to £3,000 or more. Basic controllers are fine, but lack the features and functionalities of more pro-grade devices. What’s more, user-friendliness and intuitiveness also increase with price. Or to put it another way, you can do way more with a high-end controller than a bargain-basement buy. 

Headphones and microphone

If you’re simply making and mixing music at home, you’ll get away with a sub-£50 pair of headphones. Likewise, you might not need a microphone at all at first. Taking things to a pro level, you’ll need the highest-quality hardware for your live performances. Think around £100 for a decent pair of headphones and £100 again for a high-end microphone.

Decks

Turntables are technically optional, but considered a must by the more old-school DJs. The latest turntables could set you back anything from £100 to £300 each. 

Speakers and lighting 

With supplementary performance hardware, the sky really is the limit. Speakers, subwoofers, lights, lasers, screens, stands – even a bunch of high-quality cables could set you back three figures. Not that you’ll need to go overboard at first, but it’s all essential hardware for the professional DJ.

Representation, marketing and promotion

Last but not least, newcomers to the pro DJ circuit often overlook the additional costs of running a DJ business. Agency representation (if you hire a manager), marketing, website development, promoting your music and so on – general admin costs that could easily exceed £150 per month. 

In summary…

Vague as it may be, it’s nonetheless true to say that starting a DJ business can be as cheap or expensive as you like. Nevertheless, if money is the only thing standing in your way of success, it’s worth considering alternative finance options. Reach out to an independent broker, compare loans to get best rates for the equipment you need and give yourself a fair shot at making it happen.