The role of YouTube channels in breaking electronic artists is often sidelined by talk of radio placements and Spotify playlists. Millions of dance fans discover new music through an ever-expanding network of YouTube curators who've helped elevate artists like marshmello, Krewella, ODESZA, and Galantis.
The leading dance channels scaled up from hobby projects between friends. “In the beginning, things were small, fun, and really disorganized," says Josh Carr-Hilton, whose Vancouver-based media company The District manages most channels in the space. “Now we collectively generate over 1.2 billion streams a month.” The best-known curators have also diversified beyond YouTube, establishing record labels, branded tours, and festival stages. Here are five at the top of their game.