On Monday at midem the newly formed Association for Electronic Music announced its launch as an industry trade group. Led by EDM industry figures Ben Turner and Kurosh Nasseri, the Association's current splash page states that their "mission is to represent the common interests of all individuals and companies whose business is electronic dance music and to advocate on behalf of electronic dance music as a musical genre."
Both Turner and Nasseri are deeply involved in what is now known as Electronic Dance Music (EDM). Even their relatively brief bios from midem, where they officially introduced the new Association for Electronic Music, reveal that they are in no way newcomers trying to claim a piece of the pie.
Ben Turner and Kurosh Nasseri Are Key EDM Business People
Ben Turner's experience includes co-founding the Ibiza International Music Summit with the legendary Pete Tong. He also helped establish the Association of Independent Festivals and manages Richie Hawtin, among other accomplishments.
Entertainment lawyer Kurosh Nasseri focuses his client list on EDM. Along the way he's represented such well known DJs as Afrojack, Armand van Helden, Carl Craig, Deep Dish, Dubfire, Duck Sauce, Felix Da Housecat, iio, Paul van Dyk, Richie Hawtin and Sharam. He also serves as a Trustee for the Grammys though you can't blame him for nomination missteps related to EDM.
The Association for Electronic Music is a nonprofit trade organization that intends to unite "all who wish to help secure the continued progression and future of our music" including "managers, labels, promoters, publishers, agents, retailers, broadcasters and artists."
The Board of Advisers includes among others:
- Matthew Adell, Beatport, CEO
- James Barton, President of Electronic Music, Live Nation
- Carlos Correal, Insomniac (Music Director for Electric Daisy Festivals)
- Jason Ellis, Positiva / Virgin Records
- Paul Morris, AM Only (Agent for Tiesto and Richie Hawtin)
- Patrick Moxey from Ultra Records/President of Electronic Music for Sony Music
- Maykel Piron, Armada Music
- Duncan Stutterheim, ID&T
- Amy Thomson, ATM Artists (Manager for Swedish House Mafia)
- Danny Whittle, Promoter (IBZ Entertainment)
Co-founder Ben Turner told Mixmag that he believes that the Association could attract as many as 10,000 dance music businesses and that both individuals and companies are welcome with fees designed to be "as affordable as possible." Specific details will be forthcoming.
Why the Association for Electronic Music is Needed
One goal of the Association is to ensure that EDM is taken seriously as music. As Turner pointed out:
"It was a major achievement to get Deadmau5 on the GRAMMYs show, but then the performance was out in a parking lot on the street, it wasn’t embraced on the stage. That’s an example of something we could be talking about."
While some who wish EDM had stayed underground will no doubt view this development as yet another step in the destruction of what they've nurtured, such an organization is important as more money is both invested in and generated by EDM. The reality is that underground forces are rarely well enough organized to have an impact on the outcome when major corporations get involved in what was once exclusive territory.
One of their first acts will be to initiate a study to estimate the economic value of EDM. This will be used as an element in subsequent discussions about what the Association should be doing.
Turner claims the response from major DJs has been "nothing but 'this is welcome.'" And that makes sense because leading figures in EDM have a clear view of how things are changing and likely recognize the need for organized action from within the larger EDM business community.
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