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EDM largest growth sector in US live market

Dance music events are the only genre in America to show year-on-year growth since 2014, reveals IMS's 2016 Business Report

By Jon Chapple on 26 May 2016

International Music Summit (IMS) 2016, Ibiza Photo

IMS as seen from Ibiza Cathedral


image © Ibiza Photo

Electronic dance music (EDM) concerts and festivals are the only live music events in the United States that showed a year-on-year (YoY) increase in attendance from 2014 to 2015.

That’s according to the 2016 edition of annual dance music industry study IMS Business Report, researched by Kevin Watson’s Danceonomics and published yesterday on the first day of the International Music Summit (IMS) in Ibiza.

Club events with no specific headlining DJ showed the biggest YoY change, up 3% on 2014, while club events with a headlining DJ were up 1% and smaller sessions and clubs and bars 2%. This is in contrast to non-dance music festivals and live concerts with a main headliner, both of which were static, and live concerts with multiple headliners, which declined 1%.

In Europe, meanwhile, at least one in seven people say they’ve attended an EDM event in the last three years – a number that rises to one in six in the UK and an incredible one in three in Spain.

The growth of EDM events is in contrast to non-dance music festivals and live concerts with a main headliner, both of which were static, and live concerts with multiple headliners, which declined 1%

The genre is also continuing to expand beyond its tradition western heartland, with new events in Panama (Day After Festival in January), the Philippines (ZoukOut Boracay in April), Vietnam (Vietnam Electronic Weekend in April) and Cuba (Manana earlier this month) already having taken place this year.

The industry as a whole is now worth US$7.1 billion – 60% more than in 2012–13 – although growth slowed significantly in 2015, to 3.5%, down from 12% the previous year.

Survey respondents rated a fair streaming revenue model for recorded dance music as the most important driver for future success of the sector, with a more comprehensive approach, involving key industry players and governments, to reducing harm from drugs in a close second.

Also critical were (in this order) appropriate government legislation and regulation for EDM venues, the sale of SFX assets (such as Beatport) to “organisations who understand the electronic music industry” and more transparency and lower inflation in DJ and artist fees. Less so, but still important, were the issues of the lack of women in the industry and securing support and understanding from the mainstream media (although, perhaps unsurprisingly, the dearth of females was the second most important issue among women).

 

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