It's undeniable that electronic dance music has quickly become a meaningful part of American culture. EDM has driven the growth of massive music festivals, become the soundtrack of college parties, infiltrated the radio, and even has its own Zac Efron movie on the way. John McDuling of Quartz took notice of this and published an article titled "Drug-fueled, EDM-obsessed millennials are saving the music business." It's unfortunate McDuling had to pointlessly slander EDM fans by saying they're "drug-fueled," but it's great that he believes EDM-obsessed millenials are saving the music business.
To support the title of the article, McDuling included a graph that depicts 2013's year-over-year change in the sale of digital tracks by genre. As you can see below, EDM was the only genre without a decline in digital track downloads. In fact, it experienced an increase in sales.
Are the millennials speaking up? Judging from Nielsen's profile of the typical EDM fan, we can conclude that the younger generation is fueling this electronic music growth. Events such as Mad Decent Block Party and Ultra Music Festival are keeping their doors open to the younger crowd, which helps turn the younger generation into EDM fans for life.
McDuling also brings up the corporatization of EDM as a reason for its future staying power. He specifically mentions Heineken, Coca-Cola, 7UP, and Motorola as brands that have been enthusiastic sponsors of EDM events. Producers don't mind working with brands, and this will help continue the promotion of EDM to the masses. Additionally, the IPO of SFX last year is presented as evidence of EDM's massive growth.
Lastly, McDuling presents a few eye-opening quotes. Washington Post wrote, “No other musical genre currently embodies the tastes of young people like electronic dance music." McDuling also included a quote from John Boyle, the CFO of Insomniac. In a comment reported by The Verge, Boyle stated, "This isn’t disco. This is hip hop with a lot more legs."
As fans of EDM, we all want to believe that it's here to stay for the long haul, and it's great that media outlets are reporting on the music's legitimacy. Now we just need to steer the mainstream media's reporting so that they focus on the music rather than the perceived drug problem.
Cover photo by: RUKES
Written by Mike Walkusky and Deanna Krolowitz