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Monstercat makes big moves in the Asian dance music market


Vancouver-based music label Monstercat has been in the scene since 2011, bringing some of the very best to the PNW. They took home Best Label at the 2019 International Dance Music Awards and have claimed their place as a powerhouse among major EDM labels. In this golden age of streaming they have over 12 million combined Youtube subscribers for their Uncaged and Instinct brands. Monstercat has grown quickly via their online presence and are now exploding internationally, especially in China.

Monstercat’s CEO Mike Darlington compares the Chinese explosion to what North America felt when they first hit the scene. With new music everywhere listeners are, “hungry, interested and appreciative for new sounds.” In an interview with the Vancouver Sun, Darlington lays out the label’s exponential growth.

“We’ve exploded internationally, and are now one of the largest independent labels and online VK (Vkontake) social platform communities in Russia. And then there is China, where we are doing 200 to 300 million streams a month on the Netease and QQ streaming platforms. With that, we have also done four tours with 30 or so shows and four festival stage takeovers there, where this massive community is falling in love with electronic music.”

It’s likely we’ll see Monstercat signing deals with three new Chinese acts in 2020 as hinted by Darlington. Signing these new acts is sure to help Monstercat grow their current 70,000 plus Chinese subscriber base. With all of this in mind, the proof is really in the numbers. Revenues for 2019 are up 30%, which is an insane 18% ahead of targets. The company’s annual August block party in Vancouver, The Monstercat Compound, doubled it’s 2018 numbers and brought in over 6,000 people. 2019’s Compound saw more educational initiatives, as well as a creative Street Piano installation. Read more from Dance Music Northwest on this unique reimagining of a street piano.

While Monstercat’s hold in the Asian dance music market spreads, Darlington admits more could be done at home. His plan is to connect with more people in Vancouver and grow new models of monetization right in town.

“You really need to create those new models to monetize the music or the fans in new ways, and we are always open to developing them. That’s the goal with our first three artist signings in China, so that it’s a bidirectional model of not just us exporting our content over there but also bringing theirs back here.”

We love seeing independent labels close to home make it big, especially when it leads to new music for us all!

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