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2019 IMS Business Report: Dance Music's Popularity Drops in U.S. & U.K. but Grows in Canada

International Music Summit (IMS), a platform for business, culture, and education in global electronic music, today released the annual IMS Business Report. It's an in-depth economic study of the electronic music industry, covering all aspects of the genre delivered directly to the industry personnel by author Kevin Watson.

The report provides telling statistics of how the electronic music industry has moved across the year, providing a barometer for the market as a whole.

This year the report has highlighted positive movement in many areas including an IFPI survey ranking dance/electronic as the world’s third most popular music genre, behind pop and rock. An upward trajectory has been observed with female techno DJs dominating the festival circuit in 2018 with Nina Kraviz, Amelie Lens, and Charlotte de Witte leading the charge. CERCLE, the livestream DJ performance platform, is of particular note as it has generated more than 135 million YouTube views since being launched in France in 2016.

Declines have also been observed with overall electronic music industry value dipping one per cent in 2018 and a decline in nightclub venues is accelerating, related to a number of high-profile closures around the world in recent months.

The report headlines are summarised below:

  • Global recorded music revenues (for all genres) grew by 9.7% in 2018, driven by streaming across all geographies, with Latin and North America showing the greatest growth.

  • Dance music's share of recorded music fell significantly in the USA and U.K. in 2018 versus 2017, but rebounded in both Germany and Canada. In Canada, dance music's share of total music consumption rose from 4.8% in 2017 to 5.9% in 2018. In the U.K., that number dropped from 11.6% in 2017 to 9.5% in 2018. In the U.S., the year-over-year drop was from 3.5% to 3%.

  • An IFPI survey ranked dance/electronic as the world’s third most popular music genre, behind pop and rock with 32% of people saying they typically listen to it. Applying this to the global population of 16-64 year olds would mean an estimated 1.5 billion people typically listen to dance/electronic.

  • The global videogames industry is worth seven times more than the music industry, and represents a huge opportunity for electronic DJs and artists, as shown by recent collaborations by Grand Theft Auto & Dixon, Fortntie & Marshmello, and Secret Lab & deadmau5.

  • Forbes latest report shows estimated earnings of highest-paid DJs fell significantly in 2018. The Top 10's total of $261 million in 2018 was the lowest since 2013.

  • Female techno DJs dominated the festival circuit in 2018. Analysis by Festicket shows that Nina Kraviz played twice as many festivals as the leading band, The Killers, with 34 in total. Amelie Lens and Charlotte de Witte also feature in the Top 5. In addition, Nina, Amelie and Charlotte have grown their Instagram, YouTube, and Spotify fanbases faster than the Top 5 DJs in the Viberate rankings over the past year.

  • Pitchfork analysis showed that only 19% of festival artists were female in 2018, up marginally from 14% in 2017. 150+ events have now signed up with Keychange and aim to book 50% female artists by 2022

  • A recent Record Union survey concluded that 73% of independent musicians have experienced negative emotions, with 33% of those having panic attacks as a result. The causes of this included fear of failure, financial instability, and pressure to succeed.

  • The decline in nightclub venues is accelerating, with a number of high-profile closures around the world in recent months. The number of nightclubs in Great Britain fell by 21% in the 12 months to December 2018, compared to a 1% decline per year between 2013 and 2017. In Las Vegas, after a peak in 2016, the proportion of visitors going to hotel clubs and pool parties has dropped significantly.

  • Soundcloud, Beatport, and Apple Music have all delivered significant growth in the last couple of years, both in terms of customers and revenue. Mixmag, meanwhile has diversified away from their print magazine, which now represents just 10% of the total business.

  • Cercle has generated more than 135 million YouTube views achieved since launch in April 2016, and have averaged 2 million a week so far in 2019. Their videos are attracting a young global audience, with five out of 10 countries with the highest watch time outside Europe

  • Overall, the electronic music industry's value dipped 1% in 2018/19 to $7.2bn as period of stabilisation continued. Growth in 2018/19 came from value of recorded music, festivals, and hardware and software, which was offset by a decrease in the value of clubs, and earnings of DJs and artists. Overall the global industry continues to mature and stabilise.

To read the full report, go HERE.

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.