Before EDC Las Vegas kicks off in earnest this weekend, the great and the good from the global dance music industry gathered in the chill conference rooms of the city’s Cosmopolitan hotel for EDMBiz–two days of business-oriented talks and presentations that revealed some interesting facts about dance music in 2015.
The data, presented by Tatiana Simonian of leading info/stat company Neilsen and initially published by Fast Company, revealed some surprising–and some not so surprising–facts about the state of the industry. First on the table was income, and as you might have guessed, streaming is where it’s at right now. The total number of tracks streamed in the US alone last year was up 55 percent year-on-year, to a total of 11.2 billion, bringing in an estimated total of $672 million. On the flip-side, sales took a further tumble, with 50 million dance music tracks purchased in the US in 2014, down 14 percent from 57 million in 2013. Overall, sales of dance music made up just 4.6 percent of all music sales in the US last year. Elsewhere in the world, streaming has less of an effect, with Europeans–notably in Germany and the UK–purchasing more music per-head than Americans.
Meanwhile, gender inequality in dance music was also highlighted by Simonian. In terms of attendees at festivals, it’s a fairly even split, with women making up 46 percent of dance music fans. Performing is where the girls lose out though, with women making up just 6 percent of bookings at American dance music festivals. It’s a glaring problem which Simonian noted had no obvious explanation, but presents a valuable opportunity for the dance music industry.
The economies of music festivals were also looked at, although they weren’t broken down by genre. It’s clear people like, or at least need, to travel to US festivals. The average attendee travels 903 miles to an event, a number which pushes as high as 1,244 miles for California’s Coachella festival, spending an average of $138 on a ticket in the process.
The conclusion? Simonian says that with the boom in streaming and live revenue, it’s clear more than ever than dance music, and indeed music in general, is an experience-based economy.