Oh, lord, they’re all at it! It seems it’s very much the thing to do if you’re an international artist – release your own branded headphones. Whilst there have been some interesting models, it remains difficult to see past this as anything more than a marketing exercise and an attempt to stimulate income that artists and labels alike clearly feel is lost to piracy.
But, we have to hold our judgment. First of all, AKG are a very commended audio manufacturer and Tiësto’s headphones may actually be, dare we say it, rather good. Though of course until we hear them we can only speculate. Secondly, it’s undeniable that artists and DJs are going to have to find other ways, beside record sales, to generate income.
It’s all very well going on mad tour schedules, it’s slightly worrying when you see the same DJ on the bill for 7 festivals held in 5 different Countries in just 9 days. And these hectic tour schedules seem to be becoming the norm – when you look at the schedules of artists like Gareth Emery and Tiësto it’s hardly surprising when stories start circulating of DJs collapsing due to exhaustion – most notably Deadmau5 last year.
How long they can keep this up is anybody’s guess, but perhaps the headphone fad is a genuine attempt to create alternative revenue streams, allowing DJs to still compete internationally and run their labels whilst at the same time, possibly, giving them more breathing space and the chance to tone down their schedules.
All we know is, there are going to have to be other ways besides tours and record sales for DJs to generate income, especially those who run record labels as well. Whether or not Tiësto’s latest venture into the headphone market is the right way , the jury is out.