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IMS Report: EDM’s net worth declined 54% during pandemic, but shows first signs of recovery

The annual International Music Summit (IMS) Business Report has been released. The highly reputable industry firm based in Ibiza is tasked with measuring the health and wealth of the dance music industry year-on-year. Unsurprisingly, the total valuation of the industry faced a steep decline from 2020 to 2021. The news is hardly surprising considering how the impact of COVID-19 heavily altered the electronic music business landscape over the past year.

Revenue from festivals and live events

The biggest headline to come from the report is this: the value of the business declined 54 percent after ten straight years of growth. In total valuation, $3.4 billion was lost from music festivals, which is down 78 percent. These figures were largely driven by the massive revenue loss from live shows coming to a complete standstill until recently. While events are slowly returning in various markets across the globe—either at limited capacity or some not at all, for instance in cases like Tomorrowland whose local governments banned its return—2021 still isn’t expected to be a “banner year” for live events and will likely be uneven in growth.

But here’s the good news: the report shows that there is room for growth when live returns at full scale. Uplifting data from the number-crunching at Skiddle showed that total festival ticket sales in March 2021 was more than the whole of 2020 combined. Specifically, the IMS report found that the total value of tickets sold was up 3999% in March 2021 compared to all four quarters in 2020.

Revenue from record sales

The most positive trends came out of the recording and digital sectors of the global music business. Dance music record revenues broke $1 billion in 2020. This happened as global recorded music revenue grew 7 percent to $22 billion in 2020. Still, the electronic music share declined in the US by 11 percent and the UK by 2 percent. Interestingly, hip-hop’s share of recorded music has plateaued, while electronic music has leveled off around the world. Vinyl sales were up 24 percent in 2020, while DJ software experienced record growth during COVID.

Digital growth trends

Beatport saw 33 percent growth despite the overall downloads market declining by 16%. Techno and house remain the dominant genres on the digital music retail platform. Live streaming took off like never before with multiple brands adding YouTube and Twitch subscribers, which helped supplement some lost income for artists and labels. Twitch registered 1.2 million new followers for the top electronic music accounts.

Read the full report here.

The International Music Summit is an educational, inspirational, and motivational thought-leadership platform dedicated to creating awareness of and appreciation for electronic music and the artistry related to DJing and all related art forms, through the presentation of summits and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of the genre to art and culture worldwide. IMS annually hosts major events globally in Ibiza, Los Angeles, and China.

IMS was created at a time when electronic music was at rock bottom and in desperate need of a productive community setting for its leaders. Ibiza was the place where the industry had always congregated every summer, so naturally, it was the starting point for our vision. The first International Music Summit presented by Pete Tong was created in 2007 to inspire debate, discussion, and to help implement progressive change in electronic music. Since its foundation, the conference has become widely regarded as “The Premier Platform for Thought and Leadership in Electronic Music.”

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