Deprived of nightclubs, electronic music lovers seek solace on streaming platforms

Almost 80,000 new playlists have been created with ‘dance’ in the title on Spotify since the beginning of 2021. — Reuters pic
Almost 80,000 new playlists have been created with ‘dance’ in the title on Spotify since the beginning of 2021. — Reuters pic

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 14 — The pandemic has not been kind to electronic music. 

With nightclubs forced to close their doors to comply with health restrictions, fans and artists have turned to music streaming platforms to keep the beat going. Will 2021 be remembered as the era of the kitchen rave?

While it was obvious long before Covid-19 that the dance music industry relies heavily on live events, the pandemic has forced industry professionals to confront this dependence.

The latest edition of the annual IMS Business Report has noted that electronic clubs and festivals have probably lost 75 per cent of their income in 2020, which roughly amounts to US$3.3 billion.

DJs and artists have not been spared as their earnings have slumped to US$0.4 billion as a result of the pandemic, a drop of 61 per cent when compared to 2019. 

In spite of these alarming figures, Spotify has noticed that the dance music genre is booming. Since the start of 2021, users of the Swedish giant’s global streaming platform have registered almost 80,000 new playlists with “dance” in the title.

Additionally, more than 143 million hours of dance music have been streamed over the same period by Spotify users worldwide. Electronic music fans are particularly keen on commercial dance tracks in these troubled times, most notably hits like Don’t Play by Anne-Marie, Digital Farm Animals and KSI, and “The Business” by Tiësto. 

Bringing club sounds home

“Whilst we all eagerly await doors re-opening, it has been amazing to see the interest in the genre across the platform with both new and loyal fans turning to tracks to lift their mood, mark the arrival of the weekend, and relive dancefloor moments.

With festivals and live events set to start taking place this year, excitement is at its peak. We are seeing this reflected on the platform, with dance having an incredible year on Spotify,” said Spotify dance music editor Christie Driver-Snell.

Venues and producers are also benefiting from the digital resurgence of dance music.

Spotify has also noted a global boom in streams of playlists made by nightclubs, with Oval Space in East London notably seeing a 300 per cent increase in streams of its official playlist.

Printworks’ playlist has also enjoyed an increase of more than 110 per cent in the past few months. As Belgian-Rwandan rapper Stromae once said, “Alors on dance”? — ETX Studio

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