How Do EDM Music Make Money?

For the entertainment industry, the huge weight of the EDM (electronic dance music) segment is not new. The American magazine Forbes annually publishes a list of the highest paid DJs – Electronic Cash Kings.

The financial publication decided to track the earnings of DJs in 2020 when it was revealed that the ten highest paid electronic musicians collectively earned $425 million in a year – more than the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. A year later, the top 10 DJs earned $868 million. DJ revenues doubled in just two years. The announcement of the list of electronic moguls has become the main ceremony in this sector of the music industry, a kind of Grammy dance culture. Usually the results are announced in August.

Prominent figures of hip-hop are gradually giving way to leading DJs. And here it is worth mentioning the main reason for the global expansion of EDM. One fine day, key figures in the music industry got together and decided that it was time to tie with the hegemony of hip-hop and give the public something new. Or untwist properly what is already at arm’s length. Eventually rap, which had lived its life as a wild street culture, was taken over by the industry, and its characters became symbols of success and wealth. Maybe there was no meeting, but if the rapper wants to stay at the top, today he willy-nilly has to do EDM remixes and record tracks with millionaire DJs.

EDM is not some fundamentally new music. Critical analysts generally do not believe that these three letters should be considered as a musical term, despite the fact that they stand for electronic dance music. In fact, what we hear at EDM festivals and EDM parties is a mixture of well-known upbeat house and electro with finely tuned elements of dubstep, trance and trap. The platform on which this fashion is built is, in a good way, twenty-five years old. But when they talk about EDM, they mean that the ingredients of this cocktail are mixed in the most commercial proportions, that the tracks are extremely friendly to radio stations, and the video clips are filmed and promoted in such a way as to collect the maximum clicks and likes. This bright construction set, which actually represents the new pop music, is assembled from traditionally underground details.

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To understand the phenomenon, it is important to know that EDM is the only growing segment of the music market. The EDM industry makes two-thirds of its money from clubs and festivals. That is, the quality of music in EDM is only one of the success factors. And the big question is, is it the most important one?

The global entertainment industry dictates prices in the club market, and club fees cannot but affect the value of the festival industry. The development of the music streaming market could not but affect the EDM, which has become one of the most important segments of the global music industry. The world’s leading music streaming services, such as Spotify in Sweden, pay great attention to this genre and state that its target audience is growing every day. Of course, this music is quite specific, it is more club-like than intended for individual listening. But this segment as a whole is becoming more and more popular every year.

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