Doof doof will never die, you cry out above the beat, but those crunching the numbers might disagree.
Electronic dance music, or EDM to people who are down with the lingo, has seen a decade of solid growth. That changed over the past 12 months, though, with the EDM market dropping 2% to £5,5 billion (R91 billion).
Still not bad numbers, but that’s the industry’s first ever drop.
During last week’s International Music Summit (IMS), which naturally took place in Ibiza, reports showed that EDM is “losing market share in the US and Europe”.
Over to the Guardian:
Kevin Watson, founder of Danceonomics, a knowledge hub for the electronic music industry, and the author of the report, said that, given such success, it was not surprising that appetite for the genre would eventually stall…
Watson’s report will be seen in some quarters as confirmation that the long-predicted bursting of the EDM bubble has finally happened.
Not everyone is on board with that analysis, though, and Watson himself argues that as the genre grows, its influence becomes more disguised:
“You see a lot of tracks that are produced with DJs collaborating with other artists and a lot of those are being classified as pop or R&B,” he said. “They’re not getting registered in electronic music’s share of sales. Another thing we’re seeing is a lot of mainstream festivals like Coachella, which we wouldn’t normally term electronic music festivals, are booking a lot of electronic music DJs and artists.”
Recent examples of mainstream acts teaming up with EDM artists include Coldplay and the Chainsmokers, Justin Bieber’s work with Skrillex [above] and Diplo and Ariana Grande’s collaboration with the DJ and producer Zedd.
Conversely, as other music genres assimilate it, parts of the electronic music movement have gone more underground.
I’ll tell you who won’t agree that the industry is in trouble – Calvin Harris and Tiesto, who earned £37 million (R613 million) and £29 million (R481 million) last year respectively.
Some of Cape Town’s top DJs would also disagree, but can you guys just take a few deep breaths and relax, please.
Tom Faber, a DJ and music critic, reckons there is more mutation ahead:
“Electronic music has been a thing over the last 40 years: it’s always going in and out of the mainstream. It’s one of the genres that’s always coming back. For me, electronic music is always looking forward, always doing something new.”
Pete Tong, who co-founded the IMS, says it’s time to buckle down:
“I guess another analogy would be: ‘The party’s over, it’s now time to really get your hands dirty, get back to work and look after this business you’ve built for this level and get it to the next phase’,” Tong said.
I’m not sure that means you should drop your Soundcloud anywhere and everywhere, but you’re the musician, not us.
Doof doof lives to fight another day.
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