IMS report hints at fall in DJ earnings while industry’s valuation increases


Once again, the annual International Music Summit (IMS) has landed in Ibiza. People from all over the world are brought together to share and discuss the music industry’s growth in all facets of the ever-popular Electronic Dance Music scene. Streaming sales, festival growth, social media and even gear sales are all discussed and critically analyzed to aid the improvement and growth of the EDM scene.

One significant factor that has been prominently discussed is artist earnings. DJ’s pay-packets have largely increased in each year since 2012. After earnings saw a 97% increase in 2013, jumps in revenue continued each year through to 2015. 2016 however, is an exception with a 1% drop in revenue. This can be linked to the belief that industry experts feel that genres such as Big Room, Electro House and Progressive House are becoming tired. After attending ADE this year, Heroic Academy co-founder Budi Voogt explains in his post-ADE report how fans yearn for more diverse or complex music rather than the “plastic nature of…older genres like bigroom.”

However, the 1% drop hasn’t put a hole in the pockets of artists like Calvin HarrisTiësto, and David Guetta. While DJ’s ranked 4-12 saw a 4% increase in earnings, the top 3 DJ’s combined $129 million accounted for 43% of the total revenue earned by the top 12 DJ’s on Forbes’ list. Remarkably, Calvin Harris’ $63 million is still double that of NBA superstar LeBron James‘ $31 million salary.

Another topic of discussion at this year’s IMS was the growth of the industry’s value. The music scene saw a 3% jump to a total net worth of $7.4 billion in 2016/17. Factors such as increased dance share in the U.S. and Germany, a 60% subscriber increase in streaming services and Mexico & Brazil cracking the Spotify electronic top 10 all play a large role in the industry’s increased value.

Another large factor is the expansion of music festivals. Thanks to Ultra Music Festival and Tomorrowland partner events, festivals are able to reach larger audiences and cater to different demographics. Ultra recently announced that Australia, China, and India would all host Road to Ultra events as well as Mexico hosting its own Ultra Music Festival.

For more information from the International Music Summit, the full report can be viewed here.





Melbourne-based Journalist, producer and DJ. Completed a Diploma of Audio Production at SAE Institute and loves everything from Jazz to Disco. Have a question? Don't hesitate to drop me a line!

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