Breaking Down The Numbers: EDM Listeners Vs. Mainstream Listeners


A recently unearthed report via Eventbrite and Marketwire has surfaced, shedding more light on the clearly obvious differences between EDM and MSR (mainstream radio) musical cultures and their fan bases. The report covered such behavioral aspects as online social media engagement, motivations and perceived important aspects of attending live shows/events, how much sharing is done among each sectors fans in addition to streaming media preferences. However, personally I didn’t need a report to tell me that EDM fans are way cooler than MSR listeners! But comparing legit percentages is pretty sweet and insightful, too. So let’s dig in.

Information was garnered from a sample size of 1,019 US adults, in which 410 qualified as electronic music listeners and 427 were mainstream music only.

Socially, EDM fans are more technologically adept and social with sharing their experiences. Over three quarters of respondents (78%) reported they were more likely to attend events if their peers were vs. 43% of MSR respondents. Over 2/3 (67%) report hearing about EDM events via social media vs. less than half (40%) of other concert-goers, and 73% state that seeing friends post about events makes them more likely to want to attend the rave, vs. 36% of regular concert-goers. To hit on the prior point, EDM fans are much more likely to post about events they attend pre/during/post (67%/41%/63%) than MSR fans (37%/21%/51%). Either we just love to share the good feels, or we are trying to get other people to join in on the celebrations with us…sharing is caring! This insight just goes to show that the more we share about our beloved genre and related experiences, the more people that want to join the fray.

Electronic dance music fans are also extremely tied into the smartphone technology age. Nearly ¾ of ravers (71%) listen to music on their phones vs 45% of of MSR listeners. Either we just really love our music, or the MSR listeners just don’t have anything additional to listen to outside of their radio bubble (or they might be too busy playing candy crush saga). We are also much more likely to purchase event tickets on our phones vs. the other group at  52% to 12%.

Event-wise, the all encompassing experience of the event appears to be the biggest enticement from the numbers generated by the report. Promoters are a much bigger draw for us with a 38% vs. 10% comparison in regards to promoters being extremely or very important to ticket purchase decisions (I know I stay away from certain “promoters” myself), and additionally the venue is almost as important as the slated acts to perform (80% and 90%, respectively).

There is one intriguing stat that was dropped in the report that begs further investigation. That is that 36% of respondents started going to EDM shows before ever listening to the music and 28% say they do not listen to the music but still go to events. The report claims that stat shows the “power of live performances” but another fellow author brought up the possibility of that stat inadvertently picking up the percentage of people that only go to shows for the “extracurricular” activities that are often associated with the scene. Personally, I would like to see that segment of respondents and their age breakdown. I feel like younger kids are going to these shows just because they can (no 21+ limits in some shows) and instead of partying at a frat house or in someones basement, they are bringing it to the rave. This is an opportunity for the seasoned vets to “convert” the partier-only peeps to the PLUR culture that the scene is really about.

Another interesting data point included in the study was openness of audiences to pay for streaming media options. According to the report, 53% of EDM fans would pay to see their favorite artist perform at a streaming event, vs. 19% for other genres. Ehhh, I could see paying if the price wasn’t exuberant and given that the stream quality would be superb with minimal glitches, and if there was an option to save the performance to your computer once the stream ended…for posterity and future raves-at-home.

Eventbrite stated that they have seen gross ticket sales quadruple for EDM events in the last year, but also noted that they have seen ticket increases in other events as well such as workshops, classes, large conferences, etc. So maybe the whole ticket sales business is growing, but this report just further evidences the EDM growth explosion even more explicitly, despite the fact that 44% said EDM was getting too mainstream and 46% said that its too commercial.

I, for one, am proud at these statistics for the most part. They illustrate how much of a pseudo-family we all are, and how we choose to share our experiences with each other and positively affect each other’s lives. We just have to band together and help the party-mode only attendees mature and create a stance against the homogenization of overly commercially-contrived big room festival style Daleri “Epic Mashleg” formats from over taking all the other sub-genres. With passion and numbers comes power. Let’s yield some of it!

Check out the full visual infographic  created by Eventbrite below and check out the full source report here.