This month the EDM community was shook by a momentous arrangement between media giant Clear Channel Communications and powerhouse SFX Entertainment. The agreement features live events, a Beatport Top 20 Countdown and, most importantly, a national DJ contest. With over 110 million weekly listeners and the largest share of the radio market, Clear Channel will soon propel EDM to the forefront of the music industry. Already the fastest growing genre in America, EDM will now be exposed to one of the largest markets in the world as a popular movement rather than a detrimental one.
This kind of exposure will have far reaching effects on artists and events. With more voters than the presidential elections, American Idol has proven that well marketed, talent based, events can attract huge audiences. Couple this with weekly charts, and artists will experience greater longevity within a popular market. As hit tracks last longer, these artists will remain relevant for longer periods increasing their value. This relevance will, in turn, lead to greater numbers in attendance at large music festivals, benefiting the industry as a whole. Though many may fear that such popular interested will dilute the culture of dance music, this shift in popular opinion will prove invaluable to the growth and quality of the industry long term.
The most important aspect of this arrangement will be the effect on public opinion. EDM has long been the victim of “musical racism.” It has been targeted time and time again as a scene crippled by rampant drug use and loose morality. Such accusations are common in young musical movements, but this popular attention will shift the spotlight from drug use to the music and artists we love. It will bring in new faces, new ideas, and sponsors in an effort to shape the future of this industry. Only time will tell, but this partnership bodes well for our culture, our music, and our way of life.