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How has COVID-19 affected the international electronic music industry?

The annual IMS Business Report is out - and it makes for sobering reading.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 20th Jul 2020

Each year the International Music Summit (IMS) Business Report is published, giving the global electronic music industry it’s annual health check.

This year, of course, is an anomaly, given the devastating impact Coronavirus has had on just about everything.

While reports in previous years have carried headlines such as “More people than ever are attending live music events” and “Electronic Music could be worth nearly $9bn by 2021”, unsurprisingly this year’s report (published 16 July) makes for a more sobering read.

According to data analyst Kevin Watson, while the electronic music industry bounced back from recent falls in growth in 2019, growing by 2% to $7.3bn, total value could fall by 56% ($4 billion) this year in the wake of the pandemic. 

It is also estimated that DJ/artist income could fall from $1.1bn in 2019 to $0.4bn in 2020 (a drop of 61%) as a result of COVID-19, while electronic music clubs and festivals could lose 75% of income in 2020 (equivalent to roughly $3.3 billion).

You can watch the IMS Business Report webinar here:

So far, so doom and gloom. 

However, Watson adds that “recent trends should drive a strong recovery” post-COVID, including the emergence of new technologies and revenue streams, with live-streaming and virtual events expected to continue to grow in 2020 (in May 2020, seven of the ten most watched music streamers on Twitch were electronic-music focussed).

China, India, Mexico and South Korea are highlighted as key emerging markets for electronic music, while according to Forbes total DJ earnings for the top 10 highest-paid ‘rebounded’ by 4% in 2019.

Track sales are up by 7% on global electronic music platform Beatport, with techno remaining the dominant genre for the fourth consecutive year, followed by house and tech house.

You can download the report in full here.

Main image: IMS 2019