The International Music Summit (IMS) recently released their annual report on the state of the electronic music industry. This year’s report is unique in the sense that the data considers the global economic impacts of COVID-19.
The IMS largely considers the financial state of the industry globally, which leaves several questions about how the Pacific Northwest has been specifically affected. However, this report offers global context that can guide us dramatically in what to expect next. Read below for some of the key report takeaways, as of June 2020.
Dance music, hit harder than other genres
One of the most apparent findings in the report is that dance music has been hit harder than other genres of live music. In part, this can be attributed to the timing of the virus spread. As live dance music is typically concentrated in summer-time festivals more than other genres, cancelling those events heavily hinders expected revenue.
Venue and club revenue is expecting a deficit of $3.3 billion this year, or a 75% decrease. But festivals won’t be the only ones severely affected. DJ and artist income could fall from $1.1 billion to just $0.4 billion, or a 61% plunge.
So what is the electronic music industry doing to combat these dire estimates? Thankfully, innovation and accessibility are both foundational roots of the earliest dance music, and this is a huge industry advantage.
Artists and companies forge new avenues of performance
Since the near-absolute cancellation of festival season 2020, the demand for music has held steady. As our favorite venues close, DJ’s and venues alike are turning to alternative avenues for performance.
An explosion of live stream festivals is taking over the music industry, and electronic music streaming channels account for 7 of the top 10 music streamers. Canada-based label Monstercat is the most followed music streamer on Twitch, with 782,000 followers—more than 3 times as the next most popular.
Apart from labels and several individual musicians launching their own channels to interact with fans, production companies and fans launched full-fledged virtual festivals. Insomniac Events, the mega- electronic music conglomerate is currently the most-watched music Twitch stream, ringing in 2.6 million viewer hours. In a time so marked by hyper-attention, the number of hours is absolutely remarkable.
Perhaps even more interestingly, the overwhelming majority of live stream festivals have functioned as fundraisers for notable causes. Crowdfunding millions of dollars in just a few months during an unprecedented global economic crisis is truly amazing. Feeding America, musicians’ and artists’ relief funds, and Black Lives Matter-affiliated organization have all been supported through streams.
Company sponsorships have also secured a foothold in some of the highest revenue-generating streams. Heineken and Major League Soccer sponsored David Guetta’s United at Home fundraiser stream, which wrangled a boggling 50 million viewers who raised $1.25 million. Additionally, Coca-Cola sponsored a widely-viewed Kaskade set at the Grand Canyon National Park in Utah.
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