It wasn’t that long ago when it looked like electronic dance music, or EDM, might be the savior of the music business, thanks to an impressive growth rate of 54% over the course of just three years. With overall CD and download sales slowing down, and streaming paid subscribers not increasing as fast as the industry expected, EDM looked like it was the record label’s shining star when it came to fertile new sales ground. The problem is, in the last year, the upswing has slowed to just 3.5%, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t room for growth in the genre.
According to the IMS Business Report 2016, total EDM sales went from $4.5 billion in 2012/13 to $6.9 billion in 2014/15. In the past year, that growth slowed by quite a bit, increasing by just $200 million, which has a many in the music industry thinking doom and gloom again.
That outlook may be a bit premature, however, because even though the U.S. market seems to have matured, other high-potential markets are only now in the early stages of development. Cuba, South America, Vietnam, the Philippines, and China have all seen huge electronic dance music festivals and clubs launched this year alone. In fact, nine clubs out of 20 new entries into the DJ Mag Top 100 Clubs are in Asia, with four in China, and three in Jakarta. Even a club from the UAE was listed.
One of the reasons for all the optimism comes from the fact that out of all genres of music (and there are a lot), electronic dance music is one of the most transportable. Since it’s mostly instrumental (even if there’s a vocal, the lyrics often don’t play a big part in song), there’s no language barrier between countries as a result. This means that even when the genre has topped out in the major developed countries, growth can still continue in smaller and upstart markets, sort of like what happened with American jazz music of the 1950s and 60s.
While it might seem like most of the revenue growth is coming from live events, that’s not entirely true. Song streams and downloads play a significant part of the genre’s revenue makeup.
For instance, streams increased 33% in the U.S. last year to 15 billion, although that figure is somewhat tempered by the fact that album and digital track sales and genre market share fell. In the UK, however, streaming growth grew at a faster rate than any other genre in 2015, and EDM remained in the top three formats in terms of sales there. In France, a third of the radio stations dedicated more than 10% of their output to Dance tracks in Q1 2015, showing the format is alive and well there too. In fact, Europe in general loves the genre, since figures indicate that at least 1 in 7 people have recently attended an EDM event. [Read more on Forbes…]
(Photo: Andymoore1980 via WikiPedia)