Electronic Dance Music (EDM), and to a lesser extent Hip Hop, are much better poised to thrive in the new music industry than traditional bands (live guitarists, drummers, vocalists, etc). Lefsetz has been talking about this phenomenon for a while but it’s only been recently that the truth of his claims have become apparent. Traditional bands have, and always will, exist. I’m not arguing that. What I am saying is that the environment for the new music industry is far more favorable towards electronic music than it is traditional bands. If we take equal amounts of each type of band, over time we’ll see more electronic groups for all of the reasons listed below:
True, the cash outlay for a decent studio setup is much larger than buying a crappy guitar and combo amp. Much larger. But electronic music doesn’t need to rent out recording studios and engineers to put songs, all of that is part of the studio setup in the first place. Putting out a new single takes much less time and much less money for electronic music than it does traditional bands.
And as unfortunate as it is to say, the less people in the band the more everyone gets paid. The same $10,000 show fee will feed a DJ and two techs a whole lot better than a five-piece band each with their own roadies. Touring is expensive and isn’t always a good idea.
Low variable costs make a big difference. Profit is easier to come by for EDM and Hip Hop.
-Speed of Release
EDM & Hip Hop artists put out many more singles than they do full-length albums. Less production time and more frequent releases keeps the artist in the fans’ mind more easily.
Within a large majority of traditional bands, cross pollination between members of different acts through split EPs and remixes is rare (except for the Mastdon / Feist split, which was excellent).
The exact opposite is true for EDM and Hip Hop. It’s hard to find a new single that doesn’t either have guest artists or remixes of the track.
Cross promotion is a fantastic way to get potential fans of your music to discover that they actually like your music as you’re essentially being endorsed by their current favorite artist. Hearing a new artist work with your favorite artist is even better than a friend’s recommendation…
Read more: Derek Miller, Music Think Tank