Making Money from Second Life as a DJ

DJing in Second Life as a business can be a very lucrative business. Unlike clothing or content creation, every time a person is DJing it requires them to be active for the duration of their gig. A pair of jeans you make once and it gets sold a hundred times over, but one gig is one payment. There are a lot of things to take into consideration while DJing in Second Life, music copyrights, stream providers, music, presence, and software just to name a few. DJing is more like a service job in Second Life, but also feels like the less paid service job in Second Life which can be contributed to competition, economies of scale, and the amount of places that require an active DJ.

For more than 4 years I’ve been DJing online (2 years in Anarchy Online, 3 years in Second Life) and have become pretty successful. I was approached by Daniel Terdiman, a senior writer for, to share some of my thoughts about making money as a DJ in Second Life for his upcoming book “The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Second Life”. On the book’s blog, he discusses one of my thoughts (the most important aspect of DJing in Second Life). I’m quoted as saying:

Interact with the crowd at your events. Every DJ should make their listeners feel as if they are paying attention and interacting with them. This means talking inbetween every song or every two songs (not talking OVER songs).

I cannot stress this fact enough. The difference between a good DJ’s in real life is how they interact with the crowd. Regardless of how great the music is, the interaction between the DJ and their crowd is important, ignore your crowd they will ignore you. It is just that much more important in Second Life because you do not have the ability to interact with a DJ the same way you can in a real physical space. A DJ has to make up for certain inabilities in Second Life by making sure those who are at the event feel a part of it, anyone can set up a playlist of music together and just hit play (or shuffle). Daniel explains this best:

It kind of goes to the core of what makes Second Life such an interesting and interactive environment: The idea that the content that is entertaining you doesn’t have to be static; It can be a person spinning tunes interacting with and responding to cues from the audience.

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Second Life” becomes released on October 29, 2007, but it seems to be available through right now! It covers a wide range of topics in how to make money in Second Life, from business models to virtual real estate to entertainment. If there was any book that was clearly marked as how to make money in Second Life… this would be it.

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7 Responses to Making Money from Second Life as a DJ

  1. Carson Hadlee says:

    Cool honey ! Wow you are a star …and to think I knew you way back when …haha

    I'm so proud of you! Keep 'em rockin…and here's all the love.


  2. Haha C! Still the same old me, nothing has changed much (it seems!)

    Thanks, it makes me smile wide when I hear from a dear old friend such as yourself! Thanks for the love, you helped me get here!

  3. Marc says:

    Hmmmn. Would have to disagree with ya there- to a degree.
    With over a dozen years experience DJ'ing (real life, online and broadcast) I think you hit the nail on the head with your comments about interactivity. or as I said in my own book (freely given out)- "No one ever comes to music events for the music"

    The only area I disgree with you is over the talking between each record. That is about as useful/true/valid as the 'Always play requests' advice given by others (aka useless). My own experience shows that you can go for up to 5/6 songs without talking- IF you know what you are doing. Of course in all things it depends on the event, the location and the crowd.
    The only real truth about the issue is this- quality shows. Second Life is awash with 'DJ's' who think they are good but then wonder why they do not have regular contracts.

    In the end, if one is professional about ones work, totally dedicated to making sure the customers have a good time, and able to read the subtle changes in the crowd, so you can match their mood, then a long and very profitable career as an SL DJ awaits.

  4. I'll be honest with you Marc, I think you hit the nail on the head – it does depend on the event. Some events (such as certain types of fashion shows in Second Life) don't require talking at all. As for regular events, I've seen both DJ's not speak for 3 or 4 songs and do well, I've also seen them fail. I've consistently seen that the one or two songs approach (depending on the song) works well, it keeps people engaged, and they are always expecting what will happen during the next song. This of course can be extended by using quick pre-recorded 3 second stingers/liners every so often.

    The point is make sure to keep your crowd engaged.

  5. KFH Pooraka says:

    NEXEUS FATALE IS KING! Thanks so much for the Impromptu gig at Club Connected! I have seen you play both in real life and in secondlife, and you have always played an outstanding set, with depth and great crowd interaction! You are truly an Avatar on more level than one. We love u Nexeus KFH Pooraka 'aka' Kirsty Hawkshaw (Just Be, Fine Day, Orbital etc).

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  7. DJ Lysander says:

    Heya Nexeus! It was great hanging with you at the SLCC in Tampa and I'm glad you're doing well. I agree that interactivity is key to keeping your peeps at the club altho i waver between speaking between every song to sometimes multiple songs.
    Peeps like to know you're not just a robot or a playlist. In fact, I never have a playlist because I am always changing my set to meet the feel of the crowd. Sometimes I take cues from the general chat and surprise folks. hehe
    Requests are def good for giving peeps what they want altho I can't always play them.
    We have a Community DJ Night every weds at 7 pm sl time, all djs are welcome. We each play 3 songs and pass the stream.
    Just search for the Quantum Fields region., home of Positive Quantum Energy (PQE)
    ~* DJ Lysander *~

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