As an industry that is growing at an exponential rate, EDM is poised to further its grip on the global music scene. Everyday our scene grows larger and seeps its way into mainstream and popular culture, which creates a brighter future for the EDM community. However, this crossover into a much larger audience also means the maturity of the EDM industry as it moves to a much broader platform. In order to survive this transition, the industry must shed its bad habits and usher in a new era that only showcases the best qualities from our past. Whether in terms of the music, the associated drug stigma, or even the way we report EDM news, we all must actively move forward. That being said, the way EDM news is reported and covered must also dramatically change as we move into EDM’s next chapter.
The first change that needs to occur is the way some major EDM websites report their content. EDM News sources provide information they know is going to provoke a response or increase social media interaction, primarily with the goal of boosting the traffic to their site. Focusing solely on content that will generate the most views and responses is blatant favoritism toward music released by the top 100 DJ’s and other mainstream artists. Some organizations take it even further and focus specifically on covering music produced by famous artists in an effort to get a “retweet” or re-share by the artist so the post will be exposed to their large social media following. These tactics are not new in the media world and still play a vital role in building a strong following for media websites. However, these methods could be doing more harm than good in the current EDM industry.
In the words of Dougles Rushkoff, “As more people who are information providers think of themselves as competing for eyeballs rather than competing for a good story, then journalism’s backwards.” This focus on generating more Facebook likes and views is what leads to rumor-backed news stories, positive music reviews of crappy released tracks just to please the artist, and other damaging falsities that have a major impact on the present and future of the EDM scene.
So what changes need to be made in order to improve the media within EDM? How do we move away from the closed circuit of lazy curators into a more focused and information driven market that provides readers with what they want, without overloading them with click bait material designed to drive site traffic?
The key is to pin more responsibility on our news sources. Bob Garfield, Co-host of NPR’s On The Media, stated that “Real journalism is a kind of physician-patient relationship where you don’t pander to readers, You give them some of what they want and some of what you as the doctor-journalist think they ought to have.” This doesn’t mean that news sources should be feeding you stories or music they think you will like, it means it’s the news source’s journalistic obligation to expose their readers to all forms of different electronic music in an effort to introduce their followers to a greater diversity of music and artists, rather than solely the Top 100 DJ’s. This will result in a greater depth coverage of the scene as opposed to what is simply popular or trending at the time.
Although posts about smaller artists and music do not generate nearly as much traffic, (the primary reason why smaller artists are not covered as frequently) they still play a vital role in introducing new themes and music into the mainstream, which users would otherwise miss out on. As EDM curators, it is our duty to deliver new and original content that the average reader may initially know nothing about.
The future of EDM does not ride on the shoulders of the current superstar DJ’s, it resides with the small time producers who are creating the sounds of tomorrow, that aren’t necessarily being dropped on the main stage of major music festivals. Exposing more people to new forms of electronic music encourages creativity and innovation, which is exactly what this so-called “stagnant” scene needs. The internet allows millions to talk, connect, and spread ideas at a rate far faster than humanity has been able to do before. If media outlets only report on new music from famous DJ’s, they are sending a subliminal message to upcoming producers; the message is that if they want to receive extensive media coverage on large news outlets, they must make music similar to what the big guns are currently making. Nourishing and cultivating all forms of electronic music may not generate nearly as much site traffic, but it is an essential move to both preserve the validity of EDM journalism, and shape the music of tomorrow.
Critics will argue that Your EDM is just as at fault as everyone else, and to a small degree, they are right. It is true that in the past we have had our growing pains and have learned valuable lessons along the way. But the observations presented in this article have long been known to us and are at the very heart of our goals. We cover all spectrums of music and have series such as Unsung Heroes and Into the Deep, which are specifically designed to expose our audience to new, exciting, and underrated music. We dedicate every single day to calling publicists to double check facts, finding breaking news at its very source, and posting content faster and more frequently than anyone else. We are not picture perfect here at Your EDM, but our dedication to the relentless search for original content is what separates us from our competitors.