The 2017 International Music Summit

IMS has just taken place and with it came the annual IMS Business report. Both the summit and the report give valuable information to anyone involved in the Music Industry or interested in doing so.

The International Music Summit calls itself “the premier platform for thought leadership in ” and it’s well deserved considering that it’s a reference when it comes to measuring the evolution of the Industry (from now on I’ll simply write and you’ll know what I mean). IMS Ibiza started on May 24th and ended on May 26th (today, at the time of writing). In my first article here, I talked about the dimension of the Electronic Music Industry. The values I mentioned at the time came from the International Music Summit’s last released IMS Business Report. The Business Report is released every year during the summit. The numbers are already out and they seem promising as the Electronic Music Industry has grown around 3%, being now valued at $7.4 billion.

The whole report, done by Kevin Watson of danceonimics, is interesting and worth a read, mainly considering it’s only 35 pages and is mainly visual. But for the lazier ones or the ones that prefer to focus on the music aspect of things, I bear good news as I intend this article to work as a too long; didn’t read. I really advise any and all of you reading this right now to hop over to IMS’ website and download the report and take a quick look!

Interesting factoids that the report present us with range from the number of Paid Subscribers to Music Streaming Services (p.4) –  a number that has been steadily increasing and that has more than doubled from 2015 to 2016 – , to the positive news of Beatport’s growth that has returned to being a profitable business in the first quarter of 2017 (p.9), to the distribution in what concerns gender diversity in an study that bridges over 20 of the hottest EDM festivals.

The analysis of the distribution of downloads and plays in Beatport and Pioneer DJ’s KUVO (p.10-11), respectively, is also incredibly interesting because it shows how you should adapt to the market depending on what you want to do and in what genre you fit in: Are you a guy? Then bet on Beatport as it is the number one genre there. But, if you do the same in KUVO you’ll be overshadowed by , Tech and Deep .

Another very interesting part of the article is related to the use of when promoting your work. Picking up from the example of Top Viberate Ranked DJs and corroborating this information with some other DJs, the report reaches the conclusion that the most popular DJs are growing their followers 11 times faster on Instagram than on Facebook (p.14). It also makes a very curious comparison between The Chainsmokers (one of the fastest growing acts currently) and David Guetta (with data from 2011-2012) (p.15) that seems to hint that Facebook is losing a lot of its importance with Youtube taking its place – this study didn’t consider the Adpocalypse that recently happened and that may be more important that it seems in the grand scheme of things (by the way, would anyone like me to tackle that issue? Not only from the EDM perspective but as a whole maybe?).

And even though people are relying more and more on the digital aspect of things (it has been possible for some time for people to create music with only a computer, some software a mouse and keyboard, without the need to invest heavily on a MIDI controller – even though it really makes things easier and more natural) Pioneer DJ is expected to sell over 4 million units over the course of 2017, more than quadrupling since 2005 (p.32). And talking about the digital aspect of things, one thing worthy of note is the importance that EMI has in developing and presenting new global technology trends like Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Live Streaming (p.25) with the biggest examples being the way Boiler Room has been using Virtual Reality in the experience entitled “Techno in Berlin” in cooperation with Google, the numerous artists using Facebook Live as a way of streaming studio time or gigs and the dwellings of Electronic Music with AI related to chat bots (like the example of Hardwell) or the automation of mix creation from a basis.

The report ends with the amazing news that the EMI continues to grow steadily, having grown 3% from 2015/16 to 2016/2017 (p.34). This growth was supported by positive trends in all of the key segments like Music revenue (driven mainly due to the increase of music share in USA and and the streaming subscription number having raised more than 60%), Festival and Clubs (with the latest generations being more likely to attend clubs and festivals and with attendance sometimes quintupling) and with EMI artists continuing to grow.

It isn’t all a sea of roses as there are some issues, namely with the gender disparity being very clear as only 17% of artists were female in a study that took into account 24 festivals like Sonar Barcelona, Ultra, Mysteryland and Mutek Montreal. In response to this, it is worth searching about the “Smirnoff Campaign” that aims at doubling the number of female headliners at major during the next three years (p.16)

The IMS Business Report 2017 is openly available for download and you can keep checking on IMS activities through their Facebook page and their website.

What should I address next? What are you listening to currently?

I’ll leave you with what I believe may very well be a contender for release of the year, Blanck Mass’ “Rhesus Negative” out of the World Eater EP, out on Sacred Bones!