Business News

IMS says COVID caused a 54% slump in electronic music revenues in 2020

By | Published on Tuesday 29 June 2021

International Music Summit

The International Music Summit has published its annual review of the electronic and dance music sector, this time seeking to quantify just how big an impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on this side of the music business. According to IMS’s number crunching, the electronic music sector saw total revenues decline by 54% last year to $3.4 billion following almost ten years of steady growth.

Much of that decline occurred in the live and clubbing side of the sector obviously. IMS researchers note that “more than 200 music festivals were cancelled or postponed, resulting in hundreds and thousands of people out of work and $3.4 billion in value lost, down 78% year on year”.

Obviously the slump in revenues on the live side is counter-balanced to an extent by ongoing growth in recorded music caused by the streaming boom. Although, IMS says, electronic music’s share of streaming consumption – and therefore revenue – declined in some key markets, including the US (by 11%) and the UK (by 2%). “In spite of this”, it writes, “dance recorded music revenues broke $1 billion, driven by a rapid rise in popularity in Germany and a rise in Canada and rest of world”.

Some strands of the electronic music sector actually benefited from the COVID-caused lockdown, in particular the DJ software and hardware business which experienced record growth with so many consumers looking for new forms of home entertainment. IMS estimates that this side of the business saw a 23% year-on-year increase to $1.1 billion.

Despite the general doom and gloom, the IMS report includes plenty of optimism, partly because of the anticipated bounce back of the live and clubbing side, and also because of new opportunities in the livestreaming, direct-to-fan and NFT domain. It also notes that the recent growth of the hip hop genre has started to slow, suggesting there may be increased opportunities for other genres like electronic music.

Launching its new report, IMS said in a statement: “Despite the decimation of the global value of the industry, as the world starts to re-emerge and the industry starts to reopen, there are positive messages to be found, as the report also shows there are now huge opportunities for the electronic music industry to mobilise, regrow and capitalise upon, as other musical genres plateau and new direct-to-fan monetisation opportunities such as NFT’s increase in popularity – a staggering 76% of all music NFTs worth $50.2m were issued by electronic artists in the last year”.

You can download the report here.