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Electronic Dance Music Is Hot, And Here's the Data To Prove It

Electronic Dance Music Is Hot And Here s the Data To Prove It Fast Company Business Innovation


According to Nielsen vice president of branded music Tatiana Simonian, who is presenting "EDM: Just the Facts, Man" at EDM Biz, the total number of electronic dance music tracks streamed in the U.S. over the last year has skyrocketed—up 55%, to 11.2 billion, year-over-year—even as sales have declined.

Simonian's talk is aimed at giving EDM artists, promoters, and producers a "better understanding of hard data in electronic music and how to leverage it to plan, measure, and maximize music campaigns."

Nielsen reported that in 2014, fans purchased about 50 million dance and electronic tracks, down about 14% from the 57 million tracks sold in 2013. In 2012, Nielsen said, fans bought 53 million dance and electronic tracks. Sales of electronic and dance music were also down relative to the larger music industry. In 2014, Nielsen said, the genre accounted for 4.6% of all music sales in the U.S. In 2015 so far, that number is down to 4.2%.

So far in 2015, EDM fans in the United States have purchased 2.7 million albums and 24.7 million tracks. While Nielsen doesn't monitor revenue, it suggested albums cost about $10 each, which could mean about $27 million in album sales, while track downloads go for $1, bringing in potentially another $24.7 million. Nielsen also said it uses the industry standard of 1,500 streams for every album purchased, a ratio that works out to about 6 cents earned for every stream. At that rate, EDM artists have brought in $672 million from streams, year-over-year.

The fall in sales in 2014 reflected a multi-year trend, Simonian said, in which the numbers "tend to go on an up and down basis," peaking and then dipping again, and then peaking. 

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