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Thread: What do you pay a karaoke jockey?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Central U.S.
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    351

    What do you pay a karaoke jockey?

    Assuming s/he brings everything needed (including speakers), what is a good rate of pay for a good KJ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Canada
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    1,295
    I'm not sure how the karaoke dj does much.

    But look at how much a regular dj costs for the night.He doesn't bring any equippement just his cds/laptop and they go from $200+

    I don't know any karaoke djs so I'm very clueless on the cost they charge. Try calling up some guys in your town and ask for quotes. That's the best way to do it. I might have to try a one night thing - Karaoke Night heh
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Midwest
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    655
    Main squeeze,
    I'm currently a karoke manager for an entertainment company in my city so I'll help you out.

    Currently, we charge between $200 to $250 for a one night show for karaoke if it's in our city limits (8 miles from the business). Generally, we set up one hour before the show and do a show from 9pm - 1:30 or 2:00 am and then tear down for an hour. We provide everything including: The karaoke host/jock, the speakers & stands, the monitor/tv & stand, the karaoke system which is now software on a laptop or PC, the amps, and all of the necessary cabling to display the words on our monitor and one extra cable cord to hook up to their tv or multiple tv's in their establishment depending on their video system is set up.

    The only way that we get the karaoke show down to $200 is if the place signs a 1 year contract with us and allows us to install speakers and a karaoke system in their place. This allows us to save time (which we have to pay to the karaoke host/jock) by not having to set up and tear down and also helps us get a commitment from the bar that they will be doing karaoke on a regualar basis. Also, the nice thing for the bar is that we show them how to use the system for a PA or announcements if they have special events or other things that require the use of a microphone and the speakers. So, this is another added advantage of having our system in their place.

    If they don't do a contract and allow us to install our system in their place, then we charge between $225 and $250 depending on how small or large the place is (which really doesn't make sense because we have pretty much the same equipment and have to pay a host the same amount of money) so it varies.

    Keep in mind that all of the above mentioned prices are for in town shows. Out of town shows go up depending on distance. For example, I just did a show that was 170 miles away and we charged them $375 and then added tax onto that for a total of $396 I believe. If it's around 50 miles away, we charge between $275 and $325 depending on the size of their bar OR how frequently they have us do karaoke. The more they do it, the less it costs for them because they are bringing in "almost" guaranteed revenue for us. Really, we should have charged between $400 and $425 for that show I just did but it was in my home town and I didn't stay overnight. I just came right home afterwards. If we send someone to do a show that's more than an hour and a half away, we consider if they are willing to drive home or if we have to pay to get them a hotel. If they want to stay, then we have to try to get the bar to pay a little more to take care of that cost.

    Our shows used to be quite a bit less but obviously with gas prices being the way they are, we HAVE to charge more. Plus, we have to pay for the drive time of our hosts, which sucks but we have to do it.

    In the end, karaoke isn't cheap but do yourself a favor, don't do karaoke just because it's cheap. I've seen people that will do it for $150 or even $125 just to get a show but in the end, a lot of places end up requesting us to come in or come back after trying someone else because we bring the crowd or keep them there. What's most important is getting people to come out or stay for karaoke because people in your seats means money in your cash register. So don't always go cheap. If someone is skeptical of trying us out, we usually try to work with them and give them a little deal up front (maybe $125 to $150) but explain to them that after 1 or 2 months or possibly 3, we will start charging more because by that time, we will have established a good crowd for their bar. As a result, we should be compensated appropriately for doing so. We have to stay in business too.

    Did this answer all of your questions so far? Do you have any others? I did answer a ton of questions already on this subject a month or two ago so if you have some others, possibly do a search on here or look up my posts by clicking on my name and seeing what posts I have responded to. There may be some other information that others have mentioned that I may have missed. Hopefully this helps.

  4. #4
    teenclub Guest
    great question

    but several factors:

    Population of your city
    Capacity of your venue
    popularity of Karaoke in your area
    What you make WITHOUT Karaoke
    What you make WITH it (same night)
    Popularity of the DJ
    Traditional 'DJ" prices for your area

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    220
    You also have to consider the quality of the songs the KJ gets. If your KJ only gets Sweet Georgia Brown or (shudder) Party-Tyme Karaoke, your customers will know. They sound like the crappy music that gave Karaoke a bad name. They should be using SoundChoice or Top Hits Monthly, or a similar product. Variety is also important. My KJ has a large variety of tracks that for the most part sound good. All in all, he has about 100,000 songs available. Customers enjoy the shows because of the variety.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Midwest
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    655
    Rkerdza,
    I'm not trying to dis your karaoke DJ but I've been to many places that claim to have 100,000 songs and I have yet to have been to any that have had over 10 or 15,000. The problem with claiming that they have that many is that they didn't make that many karaoke songs to begin with so to claim that number is ridiculous. It's just a marketing ploy that's just absurd.

    The way that they get to this number is that they include different versions of karaoke such as different languages (Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and etc.) or they have duplicates that they don't even know about because they have Sound Choice, Top Hits Monthly, Sweet Georgia Brown, Chartbusters, or some other brand of "Achy Breaky Heart" but it's really only one song with 5 different versions. This does not count as 5 songs.

    Please don't get offended or get the wrong idea here really. I'm just tired of going to countless karaoke places (and believe me I do) and hear a company boast or brag that they have 20, 50, or even 100,000 karaoke songs. NO, they don't and they probably never will.

    But you are right in the quality and how huge of a difference it can AND will definately make to people that actually do like karaoke or give a crap about quality. Your points were spot on.

    Just some FYI for you, there is a company on the internet right now that has excellent quality (as good if not better than Sound Choice....no lie) and you can download each song right from their website and do it ONE song at a time. No more buying a karaoke disc that has 2 or 3 songs out of 12 that you use on it. You can just buy one song at a time and if you buy enough at once, they give you a discount. Plus, they have all of the latest and most current songs available usually only 2 or 3 weeks after they come out as opposed to the slowly dragging Sound Choice (2 - 3 months lately).

    PM me if you want their name.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Pensacola, FL
    Posts
    367
    It depends a lot on what you market is. Here, a good KJ with his own equipment gets between $150 and $250 a show. I have my own equipment and I buy the songs off the sight already mentioned so I pay my KJ's less. If I'm here, I can get a requested new song in less than 5 minutes. A great sight!

    Plus I already had most of the Sound Choice collections prior to going Digital.
    Speaking without thinking is like shooting without taking aim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Telluride, Co
    Posts
    5
    For new DJs and Karaoke is nothing but a DJ most of the time,,, I offer a $100 guarantee + Bonus for the first time they play at the venue to decide if they are worth any more. Then proven DJ's get between $150-$300 + Bonus depending on the success of their nights. We pay our Karaoke DJs the same as any other DJ if they are good at what they do. Please note that I do not do Kareoke more than a couple times a year and DJs maybe once every two weeks. This is the going rate in our area though.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    220
    Yeah. I really was looking for a better word for "songs" but that's what came to my head. I guess I should have said, "he has about 100,000 'tracks' or 'files'". Semantics, blah.

    But another thing I thought would be worth mentioning is don't do karaoke more than once a week, unless you want to get labeled as "That Karaoke Bar". But hey, if that's your thing, go for it!

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