Conventions & Awards

EDMbiz Invades Las Vegas Next Week & Why EDM Matters More Now Than Ever

EdcElectronic dance music (EDM) is undeniably booming at an incredible rate in the United States and worldwide (although the U.S. is notoriously late to the game in terms of a mainstream influence). This means that there are plenty of new opportunities to be pursued by industry professionals. Recognizing this, next week’s inaugural EDMbiz conference (6/5-6/7) is designed to facilitate relevant conversations focused on the most pertinent topics specific to the scene including technology platforms, festivals, sustaining community, and more.

Why EDM Matters Now More Than Ever

So just how big is the EDM scene right now? During the recent International Music Summit in Ibiza, Spain, dance music journalist Kevin Watson revealed statistics on the EDM genre in the latest IMS Business Report. The report definitely put the growing genre’s place in pop culture into perspective.

Some key facts and figures included the following (as reported by CMU):

  • The global EDM industry is now worth an estimated $4 billion a year when recorded music, live and broadcast activity and other spin off products are taken into account.
  • EDM was the highest growing mainstream genre in the U.S. last year in terms of album sales.
  • EDM’s share of singles sales in the U.K. grew for the first time in four years in 2011.
  • The biggest EDM track of last year (Avicii’s ‘Le7els’) had 150 million global views/plays via digital platforms including YouTube.
  • EDM DJs have seen the growth of their Facebook fanbases slow slightly in the last year, though numbers of Twitter followers have increased.
  • A massive growth in popularity means Skrillex is now the third most popular DJ in the world behind Tiesto and David Guetta (according to Hype That Sound), and research suggests appearances at major US music events (The Grammys) and festivals have played a part in that growth.

Watson’s research also showed that only 30% of EDM’s customer base are considered to be really “active and passionate” about the genre, meaning that opportunities can be capitalized on to maximize on the revenues that could be generated from the other 70% (casual consumers; most of whom are probably interested in releases from the more pop end of the spectrum). Those consumers will be as interested in the lifestyle of EDM as much as the music itself; basically meaning that for artists who appeal to that particular demographic, the opportunities could possibly lie in product extensions more than the actual music itself.

The EDMbiz Conference, Las Vegas

It only takes one glance at the delgate list to get an idea of how serious the industry is taking EDM now.

Among the delegates during EDMbiz are Michael Rapino (CEO of Live Nation), Perry Farrell (founder of Lollapalooza, frontman for Jane’s Addiction, and DJ/Producer), Patrick Moxey (President, Ultra Music), as well as top executives from Google, YouTube, Spotify, and major labels including Interscope, Warner Bros., and EMI. These speakers join an already impressive list including Kaskade, Swedish House Mafia’s Steve Angello, Craig Kallman (Chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records), Skip Paige (Senior Vice President of Goldenvoice/Coachella), and many others (complete list here).

The conference is being hosted by globally respected DJ, film music supervisor, and KCRW Music Director, Jason Bentely:

“As electronic dance music reaches new heights of popularity and influence in 2012, EDMbiz has been conceived as a key forum for business development in the community,” Bentley said. “The EDM lifestyle touches all corners of pop culture today and it is definitely in the interest of this music scene to create a place for music professionals to get inspired, network, and have fun.”

Of particular interest will be a one-on-one conversation between Marc Geiger and Perry Farrell. Geiger began representing Jane’s Addiction 25 years ago, and together Geiger and Farrell started Lollapalooza in 1991. The two will discuss topics including the evolution of festival culture and the worldwide explosion of dance music, what has given them faith in the EDM genre over the years, the guiding principles upon which they built Lollapalooza and the EDM division of William Morris Endeavor, and what it is about EDM that has inspired the creative process in their respective careers.

“This conference was created to connect the EDM establishment with peripherally-associated business and aspiring entrants to move EDM forward with credibility and integrity during this time of massive growth,” said Philip Blaine of Insomniac Events, who is helping put EDMbiz together. Insomniac is also responsible for Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), which is easily one of the largest music festivals in the North America.

The EDMbiz conference will be held June 5-7, as part of EDC Week, at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. More info can be found at

Hypebot's Hisham Dahud will be in attendance during EDMbiz, so be sure and find him and tell him what you're working on. 

Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Additionally, he is the head of Business Development for Fame House, LLC and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud

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  1. What happened to the days when it was about the music not the money.. it seems like this convention is more about increasing profits when it should be about how to give back to the EDM community..

  2. A more accurate way to tell is by looking at the number of “People Talking About This” vs. the total number of Likes.

  3. I feel like a crabby old hater reading this, but I’ll say this anyway: I just can’t get over the fact that all these kids are satisfied paying all that money to watch a DJ push buttons.

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