Pioneer DJ attempts to dominate DJ software market with Serato acquisition

Artwork showing Serato and Pioneer DJ logos

Pioneer DJ’s parent company AlphaTheta Corporation has officially acquired Serato – noting, that Pioneer DJ’s rekordbox and Serato represent the two biggest players in DJ software.

According to the press release, the deal is subject to approval by the New Zealand government’s Overseas Investment Office.

Yoshinori Kataoka, President and CEO of AlphaTheta, said:

“I am delighted to announce the acquisition of Serato. Through extensive discussions within our company and with Serato’s management team, we have been exploring new ways to contribute to the industry. Bringing Serato into the AlphaTheta Group will lead to new synergies and significant technological innovations, adding continued value to the community.”

The press release went on to say: ‘While the partnership will capitalize on the combined expertise of both companies, AlphaTheta and Serato will continue to operate as standalone brands. This includes the continuation of their longstanding partnerships with key players in the DJ hardware and software industry.’

A similar statement was shared on Serato’s blog.

What does this mean?

Despite the reassurance that the two companies ‘’will continue to operate as standalone brands’’ (a stock standard response with these kind of acquisitions), the long-term survival of Serato is no doubt up in the air, and their assets (ie the better aspects of the software) would likely (in one way or another) become part of Pioneer’s rekordbox over time.

This scenario would effectively only leave Virtual DJ and djay Pro as alternative ‘independent’ software options for competing hardware providers like Rane, Roland, Reloop, Hercules and Numark to partner with, as other key players such as Traktor (from Native Instruments) and Denon DJ’s Engine software is only available natively on their own hardware.

Noting here that inMusic owns Numark, Rane, and more crucially Denon DJ, and would likely represent the biggest threat to a rekordbox/Serato monopoly if they decided to expand the development of Engine DJ to work on other hardware.

Whilst reducing competition often breeds complacency and stifles innovation, the potential upside in terms of getting the ‘best of both worlds’ – at least for rekordbox users – in the long term, is cause to be optimistic.

Read this next: The 6 best DJ software programs.

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