Tuesday, April 2, 2013

EDM By The Numbers

Ibiza International Music Summit image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
I've been meaning to post this for quite a while now, and although it's a little late, I think the numbers still hold up. These are some of the results from the International Music Summit 2012 Consumer Report about the EDM audience. This was done in conjunction with EMI Music in an effort to understand the EDM consumer better. Some of the more interesting conclusions outlined by the report are:
"● In the US, dance / electronic music has only half the passion that Rock music does, even for young people. It has a similar level of passion to Urban music. It is rivaled / beaten by Country music, even for young people. 
● The US has little passion for dance (16th of 17), but it has the most people who are passionate (1st of 17). A small increase in passion would make a big difference in the number of people who are passionate. Is that what we’ve seen in recent years: just a small change in passion that meant a big new audience?
● In the UK, passion for Dance / Electronic music rivals that for Rock music up to age 25. It’s consistently more loved than Urban music. It has no rivals beyond Rock, Pop and Urban.
● In the US, the most passionate age group (16-24) are only half as passionate (57%) about dance / electronic music as they are about the biggest genre. In the UK they’re almost as passionate about dance as they are about the genre they’re most passionate about (87%).
● There is no evidence that dance is ‘older’ or ‘younger’ in the UK or the US. The pattern by age is similar in the UK and the US – it’s just proportionally bigger in the UK. 
● In the UK dance is pretty mainstream (less engaged consumers are about 75% as passionate about dance as the engaged consumers are) whereas in the US it’s not very mainstream at all (less-engaged consumers are only about 56% as passionate about dance as engaged consumers are).
● Passion for the different genres of dance music are similar in the US and the UK. Except for Drum n Bass, which is more popular in the UK. And except for Techno because the word is often used in the US to describe dance / electronic music overall.
● Passion grows from age 13 to age 24, and peaks between ages 16 and 24. There is a steady decline in passion from age 25.
● There is a language problem. The most popular dance genre amongst people passionate about dance /electronic music is … ‘dance’ – they don’t know how better to describe what they like.
● People passionate about dance / electronic music describe it as: Cool, Upbeat, Energetic and Edgy.
● People not passionate about it describe it as: Boring, Annoying, Intrusive, Superficial and Noisy. 
● The same artist is often described very differently in different countries. Always as ‘Energetic’, but sometimes as Edgy and Upbeat (France), sometimes Cool (Germany, UK), sometimes Catchy (UK)."
As you can see, a big problem for the genre has been identified in that it has a short lifespan with it's audience. Unlike other genres of music that stay with you beyond your formative years, that doesn't seem to be the case with EDM, which seems to max out at age 25 in terms of interest. Of course, another big problem is the lack of catalog, as you probably won't find yourself humming these songs to yourself a few years down the road. That said, you have to admire the fact that the industry is trying to understand more about its audience in order to provide a better experience for them, which is something that should be happening in other genres as well. 


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