Electronic dance music artists, producers, and DJs, continue to dominate social media platforms and the EDM genre itself remains the most successful focus of festivals worldwide, data presented at the International Music Summit in Ibiza this week revealed.
The world’s most popular DJs gained followers on social media accounts at an impressive rate in the first quarter of 2017, with Instagram follower counts growing 11 times the amount of Facebook likes. This reflects an overall trend of primarily photo-based social media apps, such as Instagram and Snapchat, being used more than Facebook by Generation Z. Micro-blogging platform Twitter far surpassed Facebook too, with DJ Mag 100 winner Martin Garrix gaining 14% more followers on Twitter than Facebook. The direct interaction between fans and artists on Twitter explains its growth in popularity.
Follower counts correlate with increased exposure on the charts and streaming play, with The Chainsmokers growing their fan base by 45 percent in the last three months, or 28,000 followers per day. However, this still below David Guetta‘s average of 47,000 per day back in 2011-2012, when EDM first broke onto the world scene and Guetta’s hits were ubiquitous on the charts.
EDM festivals first began in the American and European markets, but brand expansion to other regions, such as Asia, Australia and South Africa, are not indicative of the genre’s worldwide appeal, but also the demand for shared experiences of community and music as a value among millennials. Tomorrowland‘s global brand, Unite, brought the legendary festival out of Belgium and into multiple markets by rapidly growing from the flagship event to ten worldwide within five years. Ultra Music Festival similarly grew from three locations to 21 in the same five-year span, courtesy of their Road to Ultra brand.
Festival attendance at the main three EDM festivals—Ultra, Electronic Daisy Carnival, and Tomorrowland— grew 5 times since 2008, with almost a million attendees going to all three. In 2008, the genre’s profile was rising worldwide, aided by the release of seminal dance hits like Guetta’s “When Love Takes Over” which brought dance back into the mainstream and ushered in EDM’s indomitable position within the music industry. Now, Tomorrowland takes place over two weekends to meet demand.
Industry prognosticators and the media related its rise to the escapist elements of festival culture and the uplifting emotionalism of the music in the milieu of the Great Recession, and even predicated repeatedly that the “bubble” would burst; however, the International Music Summit’s recent reports demonstrates otherwise. Just as big room gets replaced by deep house as the subgenre du jour, the social media apps and festivals may take on new iterations, yet the genre and concerts remain the same—undeniably successful.
Source: IMS Business Report, 2017