[This post authored by FMC Policy Fellow Daniel Lieberman]
We’ve seen this movie before: large media company enters growing, now profitable music scene. Large media company buys up all the smaller regional operations it can get its hands on. Now that smaller companies are together in one happy music pool, large media company presents pool to advertisers and marketers. Large media company soon cashes out of the conglomerate it created at handsome profit, walking off into the sunset.
Dear electronic dance music community: this is the situation at your breakbeat, bass-filled, trancy, dubstep-doorstep. Your community, your music, your culture — one that has been dismissed by corporate America for over twenty years and relegated to underground basements, clubs, and warehouses — has suddenly become, popular. Really, really popular.
Of course, this is not news to you. You already know that superstar DJs Skrillex, Tiesto, Deadmau5, David Guetta, Afrojack and the like now command million dollar fees and fuel an increasingly lucrative dance festival scene that spans from Brooklyn to Berlin. You’ve even heard the influence of the awkwardly-termed genre “EDM” creeping into top-40 playlists. What is news is who is suddenly paying attention: Wall Street.