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Are We Seeing the End of the EDM Album?

EPs and singles are becoming more common

The sight of an EDM album is becoming increasingly rare. More and more artists have begun focusing on releasing singles and EPs at a time. It seems to be the new normal, but it wasn’t always like this.

Daft Punk’s Discovery, for example, happened to make Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Best Albums of the 2000s, which was a milestone for EDM. It honored the duo that spearheaded the early EDM movement while giving a nod to those who really enjoyed the music. On top of that, it recognized a part of EDM as being at least a little bit mainstream.

Let us not forget other releases like Skrillex’s Recess, which brought together scene fans of Sonny Moore into an innovated dubstep style. While Skrillex would go on to produce more dubstep, he never produced another album again. It was one of the best contributions Skrillex could offer to EDM to date.

Not all hope is lost for the EDM album. From The Glitch Mob’s See Without Eyes to San Holo’s album1, this year has seen some incredible albums. Artists like Ekali have even mentioned they’re working on their first album. So perhaps it’s just a trend we’re seeing and not the death of a format. But what does the data say about this?

Down with CDs and downloading, in with streaming

Music sales have begun to decline when it comes to albums. The Recording Industry Association of America shows in their mid-year report that physical albums have it the worst. Downloads aren’t looking so hot either, seeing a 27% decline in the past year. The two together only make up 22% of music revenues in the U.S.

Streaming is seeing the lion’s share of consumption, accounting for 75% of music revenues. Free and subscriptions based services like Spotify, Soundcloud and Apple Music have exploded. They continue to drive the industry in how we listen to music. Seeing this, it’s no wonder why some artists are dropping more EPs and singles.

It could be a creative advantage to save time and money on long-form albums and focus on dropping singles. Not only does it save time for the producer; it lets your fans become more excited and appreciative of everything you give. Based on our listening habits, a smaller volume may be the most efficient way to share your music.

But if anything, the albums of this year show a great success for artists sticking to the tried and true album. It could be that appreciating quality of music may supersede being intimidated of large quantity. And who knows, maybe the albums of the future will bring more recognition to the genre. Only time will tell.

What do you think about EDM albums? Do think they’re here to stay? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!


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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!