Last year, in the before times, I wrote what I felt was an incredibly helpful piece for marketing types about product launches. There was much guffawing from the community, private inbox slaps on the back from the industry, and I imagine a serious amount of awkward shuffling in seats from the very people it was aimed at.
In it, I discussed at length and in detail about how I feel about teasers. TLDR — I think they’re the worst marketing idea that a tech company can ever do. I vividly remember the time in 2009 that I mercilessly teased old Pioneer about the never-ending stream of teasers and the protracted launch of the CDJ-2000. And even then, I gave the same warning that I give in the recently written article too.
So it comes as no surprise whatsoever to post a new teaser from Pioneer DJ, that I’m not so wildly guessing is the next generation of CDJ.
What’s funny is that one community member posted in the Pioneer DJ Instagram page that I should “do your thing” and presumably apply my established forensic photoshop-fu on this video to create some sort of Hockney-esque cut-up lump of images to give a clear image of what Pioneer DJ is planning.
But I’m not doing that. Been there — done that — somebody else can pick up that tired mantle if they want. I await the unboxing videos with mock glee.
Instead, let’s lay out exactly what will happen in what I assume will be the coming hours, days, and weeks (pray its not months) before you actually get an official look:
The internet will be awash with stories, complete with every kind of fanboy/hater variant comment.
Given that this clip offers little (it’s probably there if you know) outside of familiar buttons and jog wheels, people will speculate and theorise this unit to be exactly what it is not. By the time this rampant fictionalising has finished, expect 10/12” motorised haptic platters, 32” HDR touch and voice-activated screens, built-in 32TB SSDs, and dual jogs per unit. But it must be true because I read it on online.
Did you see the robot arm? That’s part of the new CDJ unit — an add-on accessory that presses the sync button for you. FACT.
Because of this, when it finally does leak (which it will), people will be so disappointed that it doesn’t quite live up to the fantasy that will be painted online.
Based on the scant pickings that this video offers, people will claim that Pioneer DJ is over, RIP, the end, something something because Denon DJ etc.
Equally yeah woo Pioneer DJ for life something something take my money comments will appear based on nothing more than the possibility that this could be a new CDJ.
Radars will be primed for absolutely anything regarding new CDJs. The retail and rental companies will already know all about it and may well have materials so that they can get their web pages ready. Be it a placeholder or full detail, IT WILL BE FOUND and leaked because it always is.
Be it deliberate by someone looking for their five minutes of internet fame, or shown in confidence to a friend who will subsequently shoot their load, it will leak. This is certain because outside of the last damp squib Technics 1200 MK7 release, this is the hottest news in DJdom for many MANY years.
It’s a step by step scenario I’ve painted for many companies when talking about launches and has pretty much panned out exactly as I predicted. And this will be no different. The only control Pioneer DJ has over this comes down to the length of time before launch and the materials they put in the hands of third parties.
And yes, I’m so very tired of it all. I’m blissfully happy to be leaving the media game behind at the end of the year.
HERE’S THE REALITY
Because of COVID and the shutdown of music venues and events, this is singularly THE WORST possible time to launch a long-awaited flagship club standard, made even harder because of genuine competition in the shape of Denon DJ.
But they cannot wait any longer, especially as Denon DJ has now got a splendid array of shiny SC6000 Prime units in the hands of the GAS afflicted masses.
It doesn’t matter. Because even if the new CDJ is just a minor step up from the old one, people will still buy it, in quantity, and more than any competitive unit too. And I suspect that some that jumped ship while waiting will jump right back again as well.
I’ve used this line before but it comes down to this — you don’t bring tech to a brand fight. Technologically speaking, Denon/Denon DJ has always had a leg up on Pioneer/Pioneer DJ. Denon DJ has always innovated and tried new head-turning things such as tilted screens, motorised platters, built-in storage, dual layers, wifi etc.
Here’s the thing — if it was just about tech then Denon DJ would be the club standard. But it is not. Because it’s all about brand loyalty and trust.
When I saw the first iteration of the SC5000 god knows how many years ago, I stated that no matter how pant-wettingly sexy the tech was, they’d always be playing for second place in the booth. And I say this as someone who understands brands and is a dedicated Denon DJ fan too.
And I don’t believe that things will be any different after this launch either. They might not sell as many day one units as they’d like, but once venues and rental companies pick up the pace again, I guarantee that they won’t be able to make these fast enough.
And as the feature field levels out, there will be even fewer ways to up the technology approach. And Pioneer DJ knows this only too well. If they felt that anyone was a threat, they’d have acted accordingly.
So yay, finally Pioneer DJ has removed the post-sale chocks and is getting back on with their plans, — COVID be damned. We’ll just have to wait to see exactly what it is, and I’m quite sure the other tier-one media outlets will be chomping at the bit to be first to tell you, and retailers gagging to get your money too.
But I hear you can play Fortnite on them and stream Netflix too. And they’ll take an Innofader. You haven’t seen me, right?