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IMS business report 2020 predicts a 56% slump in value of the dance music industry

The annual analysis highlights the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 on global electronic music

  • Patrizio Cavaliere
  • 22 July 2020
IMS business report 2020 predicts a 56% slump in value of the dance music industry

The International Music Summit (IMS) have published their annual study of the electronic music industry, with the catastrophic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak understandably dominating the headlines.

IMS is a vital resource for the electronic music industry, with its yearly reports offering a detailed analysis of the health of the business globally. Predictably, the impact of the COVID-19 makes for grim reading, with the total value of the business estimated to fall 56% to $3.3 billion in 2020. The figures for 2019 had shown a 2% growth to $7.3 billion.

With nightclubs shuttered worldwide, clubs and festivals are expected to see a 75% drop in revenue in 2020, and artist and DJ income is predicted to fall drastically to $400 million, down from $1.1 billion in 2019. By April of this year, approximately 350 electronic festivals had been cancelled or postponed, with 8.9 million fans unable to attend scheduled events.

Despite the obvious gloom, we were able to glean at least a glimmer of positivity from the report. Dance music punches well above its weight when it comes to streaming, with 90% of electronic music consumed via streams in 2019 compared to just 68% of rock music. Streaming has seen a dramatic upturn, too, with platforms such as United We Stream, Boiler Room and Beatport Re:Connect have generating millions of dollars in revenue.

Overall, dance and electronic music is ranked fifth most popular worldwide, and author of the report, Kevin Watson, singles out the Asian market as one with particular prospects for growth going forward. He specifically references a “huge opportunity for dance to break into India” which, despite a vibrant ground-level scene, is seen as virgin territory for dance music.

Other interesting insights are the Beatport sales statistics, which show techno as being the most popular genre for 15 consecutive quarters, while also tracking the rising popularity of melodic house and techno as a sub-genre.

Overall the study illustrates a resurgence for electronic music in 2019 before the outbreak of the COVID-19 brought the industry to a virtual standstill. “Hopefully we can build on this positive momentum once the world returns to ‘normality’,” says Watson in his introduction. Certainly, this is something industry players and fans alike will gladly drink to.

You can find out more about the International Music Summit and read the full report here

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