Electronic Dance Music (EDM) is one of the fastest growing music industries to date. Although the genre is comparatively new, EDM began to gain popularity in the early 1980s. Since then, the genre has become an impressive 4 billion dollar industry that continues to grow.
The Creators of EDM – “Electronic Cash Kings”
According to Forbes’s “Electronic Cash Kings,” the first annual list of the highest earning DJs, EDM’s top earning DJ Tiesto made a staggering 22 million dollars in 2012. Comparatively, pop mogul Justin Bieber made 55 million dollars, a figure that includes revenue from his world tour, product royalties, and various startup investments. This relatively small income gap (when considering revenue inlets) provides a clear indication of EDM’s growing mainstream presence.
The genre’s impact has increased dramatically due to pop producers (such as David Guetta) who have introduced EDM into pop music. Guetta has worked with artists such as Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi, and Rhianna and has enjoyed the title of #1 DJ of 2011 according to DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Fan Poll. Guetta himself is rumored to be worth about 30 million dollars as of last year.
EDM as an industry
Much of the revenue generated by the EDM industry comes not from album sales but through live shows and festivals. Festivals such as Electric Daisy Carnival generated an astounding 207 million dollars for Clarke County, Las Vegas in 2012.
Early producers recognized that live shows were providing the majority of revenue, and adapted to this trend by offering free or low-cost downloads of EDM tracks. This adaptation helped to generate a stronger fan base by fostering the online EDM community. Coupled with the increasing presence of EDM artists at established mainstream festivals such as Coachella Valley Music Festival and Lollapollooza, the industry has drawn the attention of media moguls who contribute to the further growth of the EDM.
EDM’s growing presence
Industry executives aren’t the only ones looking to capitalize on the EDM industry. Schools such as The Berklee College of Music and Audio Recording School offer degrees in electronic music design and production.
These degrees focus on the variety of softwares used to create EDM, and help to train potential artists in computer-assisted composition and sound synthesis. Training programs such as these have helped to elevate EDM from its humble beginnings to the massive industry it is today.
Clearly, EDM is a thriving artistic field that has drawn the attention of fans and industry professionals alike. If the trend continues (and many believe it will) EDM could easily become the defining musical genre of the current generation.