Dance music’s representation on the festival circuit is greater than ever, but the industry’s heavy reliance on live performance revenues are a double-edge sword.
David Guetta’s late 2021 assertion—that dance music’s best years would arrive in the aftermath of the pandemic—is starting to prove positive.
It was a bold claim at the time, but the latest annual IMS Business Report backs up Guetta’s sentiment with hard data. The 2023 edition of the report, a compilation of dance music data from the prior calendar year, claims the industry grew 34% in 2022.
“This is not just about bouncing back; this is bouncing back and almost bouncing off the trampoline,” said Mark Mulligan, Managing Director of MIDiA Research.
The meteoric spike brings the global valuation of the industry to $11.3 billion, a 16% net increase versus its pre-pandemic levels. While last year’s report was characterized by the beginnings of a “return to normal” following variable states of lockdown across the globe, the industry ultimately remained double-digit percentage points below its pre-pandemic highs.
The report, authored by Mulligan and MIDiA Research, finds that the booming live performance sector is the industry’s biggest driver. Revenues increased 65% versus prior year to $4.1 billion. In terms of bookings, the EDM genre’s representation on the festival circuit bookings rose 6% year-over-year to 39% of the total share of festival bookings.
Dance music’s traditional recording and publishing wing, as well as its production technology vertical, grew more modestly and in-line with the trajectory of the broader music industry at-large. Given that live performance revenue handily outpaced these verticals, one unintended consequence remains: for better or worse, electronic music’s reliance on the live performance sector is more critical than ever before in its history.
“The pandemic shone a harsh light on the industry’s heavy-reliance on live,” the report reads. “Now, that reliance is even higher because of live’s huge growth.”
However, the report does identify several emerging trends outside of the live sector that will be worthwhile to watch closely. User-generated content and productivity augmentation as a result of AI technologies, the rise of artist-led digital communities and the continued proliferation of new age avenues for music discovery such as TikTok are just some of the budding growth levers that could drive the dance music industry of the future.
Read the full report here.