Electronic Dance Music, better known as EDM, is one of the fastest growing genres in the global music industry.
Let’s take a quick look at some numbers. Growing at 12% from 2014, the industry hit $6.9 billion (in sales) in 2015, up from $6.2 billion the previous year. Yes, you read that right. One, singular genre in the music industry has made almost as much money last year as there are people on this planet. So where is all this money coming from?
EDM’s revenue is made up of three things. First, you have traditional album sales and online streaming services. Next, you have the sale of DJ equipment for those aspiring musicians that want to follow in the footsteps of their favorite artists. If 19-year old Martin Garrix can do it, maybe you can too! Last but not least, the majority of EDM’s value comes from global events and festivals like Tomorrowland, Ultra, Electric Daisy, Sunburn, and Sonar. Believe it or not the last two are legit names. Not only that, but attendance at these kinds of festivals crosses 150,000 easily.
Even though traditional EDM has actually been around for more than three decades, its current popularity is at an all-time high. It’s definitely not a trend that seems to be fading away any time soon. Skrillex and his awful hairstyle are here to stay. As are Steve Aoki, Tiesto, and even David Guetta, who’s older than the genre itself. Besides its cult-like following, the success of EDM is also due to how flexible the artists can be in blending new sounds and constantly reinventing the genre in different ways. Just like Subway, the EDM community likes to keep it fresh.
Many people outside the EDM sphere criticize this style of music and their artists for lack of creativity and talent. “Is the music even good?” they may ask. Yes, it is. In fact, its almost seven billion dollars good.
So is the EDM industry’s current and future success a question of how big it is or how fast it can grow? In reality, it’s a little bit of both. But as you can tell, size does matter.