Given the global upturn across the music industry over the several years, such results could be read as a sign of EDM’s faltering popularity, but IMS says the opposite is true and that the fall is down to many crossover EDM tracks now being classified as pop or R&B in sales data as the once underground genre becomes deeper embedded in mainstream culture.
To back up its claims, the report cites a 2017 Nielsen study into listening habits in Asia Pacific, which found that a large proportion of those surveyed listed to dance music. It also points to the popularity of the ‘mint’ electronic playlist on Spotify - its sixth most popular, with 5 million followers – while download sales at EDM retailer Beatport grew by over 7 percent in 2017, says report author Kevin Watson of London-based Danceonomics.
Meanwhile, estimated DJ earnings rebounded in 2017, with the top 10 DJs in the world earning $279 million thanks to the continued popularity of Calvin Harris ($49 million last year, according to Forbes data), Tiesto ($39 million) and The Chainsmokers ($38 million).
The overall live market for EDM events similarly continues to grow globally, while last year’s acquisition of Netherlands-based Spinnin' Records by Warner Music Group (a deal estimated to be worth over $100 million) is the third largest electronic music deal in recent years, claims Watson. Funding in electronic music companies also remains strong, he says, identifying recent multi-million-dollar investments in Mixcloud, Splice and Native Instruments.
The report does not include financial breakdowns for how much the recorded, live or branding EDM business is worth.
Looking forward, the survey estimates that the global EDM industry could be worth nearly $9 billion by 2021 - if the overall music industry continues to grow at its projected rate and EDM maintains its current market share.