Last week I was the International Music Summit in Ibiza, the annual music industry business event. This year MIDiA compiled the annual IMS Music Business Report and I presented the findings at the opening of the event. The full report is available here for download and you can view a video of the presentation here. Here are some of the key findings of the report.
The dance music industry has long been among the first music genres to be shaped by emerging technologies, not least because technology plays such an integral role in the production and performance of dance music. This has helped ensure that dance music has ridden the waves of music industry change. But it has also always been a genre built around performance, DJing especially. So when the pandemic came, dance music felt the impact particularly keenly, with festivals, clubs and bars all being hard hit. 2020 and 2021 were thus fallow years for dance music revenues, years in which DJs struggled to perform and the global industry looked much more towards its other revenue streams. With the global opening up of 2022, the dance music industry not only grew, but ended up bigger than pre-pandemic, pointing to the growing cultural reach and impact that dance music has in today’s global music business.
All of the key elements of the dance music business were up in 2022:
- Recorded music up 11% to $1.5 billion
- Publishing up 22% to $0.4 billion
- Music hardware, software, sounds and services up 4% to $2.8 billion
- Live up 78% to $4.5 billion
The result was that the total revenue of the global dance music industry rose 34% in 2022 to hit $10.2 billion.
Hardware and software
Music hardware, software, sounds and services represents one of dance music’s super powers. Dance music producers have always relied on these tools, but now they are becoming the mainstay of the wider music creator economy. With music software used more across all genres, dance music sounds and techniques will influence all genres
Skills sharing and learning grew fastest, and it was worth $108 million in 2022. Plus, demand will increase still, due to fast evolving production techniques and new software
This will be a long-term growth area for dance music, with producers constantly seeking to upskill to the fast changing world of music production tech and techniques
In live, Ibiza club ticketing revenue reached €124 million in 2022, up 55% from the €80 million registered in 2019. This was underpinned by increases in the number of events per venue, average ticket prices, and the total number of tickets sold going from 2 million in 2019 to 2.5 million in 2022
Globally, the top 100 DJs saw their 2022 bookings grow by around threefold on the pandemic hit 2021, though male DJs grew bookings more than half faster than their female counterparts. Female DJs represented 15% of all top 100 DJ bookings in 2022. Building popularity and getting bookings is a virtuous circle, but if female DJs are losing share of bookings to male counterparts, then the virtuous circle becomes a vicious circle.
A bright, diversified future
Finally, the dance music industry has shaken off the effects of the pandemic, coming out the other side, bigger, better, stronger and more relevant than ever. The pandemic shone a harsh light on the industry’s heavy-reliance on live. Now, that reliance is even higher because of live’s huge growth. There are two key differences from 2019: 1) a resurgent creator tools sector; and 2) a music publishing business that is finally beginning to find its share. The future is bright, with the rise of creator culture, bringing ever more people into dance music, both as fans and creators, with the creator-fan set to be at the centre of tomorrow’s dance music world.