Features May 24, 2018

Report: global EDM industry now worth $7.1b, down 2% but has “sustainable wide-scale appeal”

Christie Eliezer
Contributing Editor
Report: global EDM industry now worth $7.1b, down 2% but has “sustainable wide-scale appeal”

After strong growth in recent years, the global electronic dance music (EDM) industry slipped 2% to a value of US$7.1 billion. 

It was $7.4 billion the year before, but still 60% up from three years ago.

If it maintains its current share in various sections of the music industry, EDM will globally be worth nearly $9 billion by 2021.

The figures are from the IMS Business Report 2018, an economic study covering all financial aspects of the EDM market.

These include festival and club attendances, streaming, DJ attendances and use of the music by brands.

The report was presented overnight at the International Music Summit in Ibiza by Kevin Watson of London-based Danceonomics.

Watson says that the 2% in no way suggests that the EDM bubble has burst – something which Fatboy Slim and Las Vegas dance music club operators have proclaimed it will do.

Yes, Watson says, some of the major Western markets have slipped, but EDM is positively exploding in new markets such as China and South America.

In the Asia Pacific, 64% of music lovers listen to electronic dance music.

In the US, EDM’s share of the recorded music market fell to 3.5% from 4%.

In Canada it was down to 4.8% from 6.3%, and the UK and Germany also dropped.

However in Australia, EDM remains among the Top 5 most popular genres.

Watson points out that the percentage drop is also a reflection of EDM’s continued expansion into the mainstream music culture.

Tracks once regarded as EDM are now listed in sales data as R&B or pop. The line blurs as more DJ superstars collaborate with pop and R&B performers.

Similarly, the volume of EDM streams grew 33% last year but its share in overall streaming declined.

The full report is available here

In other take-outs from the report:

  • Electronic music is a significant contributor to Spotify’s success. The mint playlist is the streaming service’s sixth most popular, with 5 million followers and The Chainsmokers becoming the third act to achieve 1 billion streams.
  • Sales of EDM retailer Beatport were up 7% in 2017.
  • Estimated DJ earnings rebounded in 2017, with the top 10 raking in $279 million and adding 50,000 fans a week on social media.

Calvin Harris led with $49 million in the 12-month period, followed by Tiesto ($39 million) and The Chainsmokers ($38 million).

IMS co-founder Pete Tong said the figures showed the EDM scene was “punctured rather than burst”.

Topics discussed at IMS included gender inequality in the sector, balancing parenting with careers, and the need to set up a wellbeing system for EDM people.

The latter was mooted by Tong in his keynote, during which he paid tribute to Avicii.

“From the start, Tim was clearly a very special talent,” he said.

“His innate sense of melody, combined with his gift for arrangement and production set him apart, but what was truly unique about Tim in 2008/9 was that he was so young.

“He was the first teenager of the EDM era to make music inspired by his peers and then join them all within a matter of 12 months.

“How could Tim, one of the most talented and successful artists of his generation, go from making music in his bedroom in 2008 to taking his own life in a hotel room in 2018?

“I believe we can find some of the answers, when we examine what it’s like to be a successful DJ/artist/producer and relentless globetrotting live performer in the present day.”

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