Skrillex, David Guetta And More: Did EDM Explode Because of Social Media?

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By Uptin Saiidi

New York, NY – If you’ve ever been to a Skrillex concert, you’ll know that tickets can be hard to come by and there’s a good chance your standards of personal space were replaced by fist pumping teens as you find yourself questioning the fire code in between sets. While EDM shows only continue to gain in popularity, many wonder, what led to the explosion of EDM music in the past year?

An event during Social Media Week in New York City ventured to guess. Held Thursday night in the East Village, “How Social Media Has Fueled the Explosive Growth of EDM in America Panel” included agents and label executives alike.

The notion being that music’s discoverability is easier than ever before was at the forefront of the panel. The ease of learning and sharing your favorite songs has become instant and easy. And even if you’re not listening to the same music as your real-life friends, a glance no further than your Twitter feed can make you feel like you’re part of a bigger community with people of similar tastes and styles in music.

“The growth of EDM is intrinsically tied to social media,” Zev Norotsky, founder of Elektro Magazine and moderator of the panel, told the crowd of about 200. He also reminded the crowd, for anyone who had any doubt about its continued growth, that global EDM sales are projected at four times that of rock and roll music.

With artists like David Guetta having nearly four million Twitter followers, it’s easy for them to connect with their fans and build a loyal following.

“Swedish House Mafia is at the forefront of fan loyalty and creating viral buzz through CD release events, and it’s Masquerade Ball,” Norotsky said.

Allowing fans to connect with artists in ways that used to only be possible when the artist came to your hometown has really fueled its growth, according to Justin Kleinfeld, who represents Tiesto and Swedish House Mafia. “It’s the autograph, these guys are tweeting everything they’re doing from getting on an airplane to recording a single … just about anything,” the rep said. “Getting retweeted is like the new autograph.”

Recent Grammy Award winner Skrillex’s agent Lee Anderson, a talent rep at AM Only, thinks social media has helped change the industry in a way that’s allowed Skrillex to engage with fans. “He’s really active, he dives into the show, waits outside the tour bus,” he said. “And he’s the same way on Twitter. He connects with the fans. He responds to tweets.”

It’s not just about connecting fans with artists through the Internet, though. Eddie Dean, president of nightclub chain Pacha, said they used different apps to help promote their events, which can ultimately be less turnaround time. “We used to have an entire program to announce a guy,” he said. “Now with social media, we can just do it a week before.”

Do you think Social Media is to credit for EDM’s explosion? Share your comments below!