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Global Dance Music Industry Grew 71% In The Last Year: 2022 IMS Business Report

Web3 was a major industry growth area, with 64% of all identified music NFTs issued by electronic artists.

Today (April 27) in Ibiza, the annual IMS Business Report was presented as part of the IMS Ibiza conference, a longtime gathering of the global dance music industry. Taking place on the shores of the White Isle at the elegant Destino Pacha Ibiza Resort, the conference is happening live for the first time since 2019, with 2020 and 2021 taking place virtually due to the pandemic.

While the weather is overcast today in Ibiza, signs of life on the island — where clubs are beginning to reopen after a largely dormant and economically devastating two years — are being paralleled by the Business Report, which demonstrates the dance industry’s significant rebound since its global valuation hit a ten-year low in 2021 amidst the pandemic.

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For the second year in a row, the report (available for download in here full here) has been prepared by David Boyle, the head of London-based research, data and analytics firm Audience Strategies.  The report is based on facts and figures provided from across the industry, including via more than 30 interviews with key figures and analysis of over 40 data sets, many exclusive to IMS.

“The industry is buzzing,” Boyle says in the report. “I heard tons of excitement in my interviews with artists, promoters, agents and labels in the last month. Partly because, as predicted last year, electronic music is back once again. Led by market share gains in the U.K. and Germany, we found growth in 16 countries as the joy and energy of electronic music soundtracks the world’s post-pandemic recovery.”

The IMS Report, this year presented by Web3 company PIXELYNX with support from analytics platform Viberate, is a cornerstone of IMS Ibiza. The conference continues through today through Friday (April 29) with speakers, conversations, workshops and focusing on the metaverse, climate change, the war in Ukraine and other industry hot topics.

Here are 12 key findings from the 2022 Report:

1. The Dance and Electronic Music Market Grew Strongly In 2021

This year’s report values the total industry at $6 billion, which is up 71% from last year. This number does not, however reach the industry’s pre-pandemic levels, with this number still down by 20% ($1.5 billion) versus 2019.

2. The Recorded Electronic Music Music Market Continued To Grow 

Electronic digital download store Beatport achieved 13% growth, despite the downloads market declining by 15%. In terms of genre popularity on the platform, tech house overtook techno in 2021 as the best-selling genre after holding second place for the past few years. House continued to rank highly, retaining its place as the third most popular genre in 2021. These genres were followed by melodic house and techno and drum & bass. 

3. The Dance/Electronic U.S. Market Share Is Stable

In the United States, dance/electronic music makes up 3.3% of total recorded music volume, (a 3% rise over last year.) The genre reached an all-time U.S. high of 4% in 2016, the height of the EDM boom. As last year’s “IMS Report” predicted, hip-hop’s U.S. market share dropped in 2021, hitting 27.7% after reaching 28.2% in 2020.

4. Streaming Was Up Across All Music Genres

Streaming growth accelerated in 2021, up 24% year over year, compared with 19% growth in 2019-20 and 22% in 2018-19. This growth was powered by existing platforms as well as new platforms and new monetization of existing platforms including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Peloton, Apple Fitness, Amazon Music Unlimited on Echo. Additionally, for the first time in 20 years, physical sales returned to growth in 2021, with vinyl sales up 51% and CD sales up 9%.

5. Electronic Festivals and Clubs Rebounded in 2021, But There Were Setbacks 

Continued pandemic-related restrictions meant that record consumer demand for live shows couldn’t be met. Events that were possible were often hampered by challenges with myriad challenges relating to audiences, artists, staff and suppliers.

6. Web3 is a Big Deal — And a Big Moneymaker — In the Dance World

Web3, Metaverse, NFTs, Blockchain, DAOs and tech play key role in the report, showcasing the adoption of new ways to for artists and brands to build monetizable relationships directly with fans. Electronic artists pioneered NFTs for digital collectibles, with 64% of all identified music NFTs — a number worth $55.4 million — issued by electronic artists.

7. Streaming (Still) Doesn’t Pay

The report found that just 1,650 electronic artists — less than 1.2% of the scene’s total acts — make more than $65,000 annually from their streaming music.

8. But Artists Are Once Again Earning Revenue On Live Shows

DJ and artist earnings were up $400 million  — that’s 111% — over 2020, largely due to the return to live music and shows in 2021.

9. Progress Has Been Made Regarding Diversity — But There’s Still a Long Way To Go

The report found that representation and demand for people of color in the “DJ Mag Top 100” — an annual ranking of the world’s 100 most popular electronic artists — grew in 2021. However these several years of slow growth in demand for female representation in the Top 100 stalled in 2021, with audiences voting 12 female DJs into Top 100 DJs in 2021, down one versus 2020. That’s the first drop in the number of female artists on the list since 2016.

Additionally, according Association for Electronic Music’s Gender Diversity in the Electronic Music Industry Survey, only 16% of dance industry workplaces are majority female. Almost half of the survey’s sample work in organizations with a 25-50% female workforce. 22% had senior management teams with less than 1 in 4 women. Additionally, despite women in the survey showing a higher level of education than men, women were three times less likely than men to be at Executive level.

Furthermore, while there was a significant spike of bookings of Black artists in the United States and France during the peak of the 2020 Minneapolis racial uprising, which echoed in France with country-wide protests, this spike was not sustained.

10. Gaming Dwarfs Electronic Music, But Bridges Are Being Made

Gaming is more than 20 times the size of the electronic music industry, and growing rapidly. But the music industry’s crossover with the gaming space continues: Sony has $250 million invested in Fortnite and has just invested a billion dollars in Epic games. Warner has eight figures invested in metaverse platform Roblox along with a number of partnerships with digital experience companies. Such investments continue bridging the digital entertainment and physical worlds.

11. The Value of DJ Software and Hardware Grew 14%

The end of the 2020 home DJ boom was offset by the return to live, although this was affected by chip shortages and global shipping challenges.

12. Education Is Big Business — And a Part of Giving Back

IMS counted 138 electronic music education providers, with Electronic Music Label Toolroom now having 7,500 alumni out in the world, making music that were trained at their DJ academy. Such educational facets reflect a desire in the scene to give back, with the scene also stepping up with fundraising compilations to support Ukraine and reacting to wider world events. To wit, the theme of this year’s IMS conference is “in pursuit of purpose,” with a focus on talks on climate change, Ukraine, mental health and more.