Here’s why the Asia-Pacific region is important for the Electronic Dance Music movement


The Electronic Dance Music market has been growing ever since its extravagant entry into the mainstream music scene a couple of years ago.

While the ‘movement’ has somewhat made its mark in Europe and the Americas, it’s Asia that is really the focus for the future. There’s a reason why festivals like Ultra & Tomorrowland are aggressively expanding into the APAC region. Let’s dive deeper into a few of the pointers.

Top 5

Electronic Dance Music

EDM is one of the top 5 genres of music listened to in countries such as Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, even Australia. In other countries in the region such as Japan and India, EDM makes it to the top 10. A poll by Nielsen showed that nearly 50% of the target population listens to electronic music in these countries. With a large number of millennial population in most of these countries, especially India, Korea and China, it’s clear why companies would want to set up shop and cater to the ever-enthusiastic clientele.

Now how about we focus only on China for a bit. According to an iiMedia Research report, electronic music is the second most preferred genre among users in China. With over 300 million electronic music listeners in the country, China alone can be categorized as a separate market in itself, driving growth for the entire APAC region.


Electronic Dance Music

The demographics of EDM listeners in APAC is as expected, focused on individuals below the age of 28 with students and young professionals making up more than 60% of total listeners. Nielsen’s study shows that females tend to be more avid listeners of the genre if not as much as males. The same study also showed that the percentage of dance music listeners who are millennials indexed to the average music listener was all above 90%.

Live Music & Spending

On average, the annual live music spend for listeners in certain parts of APAC is far more than their American counterparts. An average annual live music spend for a music listener in China was $128 last year, whereas their US counterpart’s was $97. Music festivals in the region have also skyrocketed in the past years. Just take Ultra’s Worldwide shows in Asia. They now include 12 locations in APAC alone, 50% of Ultra’s entire worldwide schedule for the coming future. This of course is excluding the ‘Road To Ultra’ events that Ultra holds as a prelude to a full weekend Ultra event. China alone had 32 music festivals in 2016, which rose to over 80 in 2017 and is expected to surpass 150 this year.

Electronic Dance Music

Ultra isn’t the only one making waves in APAC. India’s Sunburn recently announced it would be expanding to Australia and Tomorrowland has been in talks with event organizers to set-up a full-fledged event in Asia. With so much money being pumped into bringing fans world-class productions and the best artists from across the globe, there definitely seems to be an increasingly growing market for dance music, even though it may start to seem saturated at some times.

Online Music Platforms

Now this one’s a bit tricky so we’ll separate China from the rest of the group for this discussion. Dance music listeners use of online music services are dominated by YouTube for most of the countries, though Spotify does have a good market in countries like Singapore and Japan. In fact, Spotify, which very frustratingly has not been available in India this whole time could soon be launching its services in the country after opening an office in Mumbai. Opening up one of the largest markets in the world for music streaming, would not only benefit Spotify but also its artists, many of whom are some of your favourite DJs and producers.

As for China, the online streaming service is dominated by a couple of players. Undoubtedly, QQ Music, Kuwo and Kugou Player rank top 3 on in the Chinese music market, and have obtained deeper penetration and longer using time than NetEase Cloud Music or Xiami, towards the mainstream music market and the vast majority of ordinary users.

To keep it simple, there are quite a few of these services, each with their own pros and cons that we’re not gonna get into right now. But the end point is there is a huge market for music streaming in the region and from the looks of it, it’s just getting started.

DJs & their love for Asia

While we all know that very few of your favourite DJs who’d pick a venue in APAC as their best/biggest/dream gig, there’s no doubt that they love it here. Since majority of the world’s biggest DJs hail from Europe, it’s safe to say that playing in a location outside of their home turf is both exciting and special. There are a number of DJs that make it a point to have an Asia tour atleast once a year. Some even come by 2-3 times (I’m looking at you R3hab). Hey, I’m pretty sure Don Diablo’s been spending a lot of time in China off late too. If you don’t believe me, have these as proof:

The list goes on…

So there you have it. A few of the many, many reasons why APAC is so important for Electronic Dance Music. Now I know we didn’t go deep into statistics such as how much percent revenue APAC generates as a whole for EDM globally (hint: it’s more than you think), but honestly, that doesn’t matter at this point. The fact is it’s still growing and there is still a huge potential for growth.

Thoughts on the matter? Comments? Let us know down below.


Header image courtesy: ULTRA Singapore

Khushrav Bhada
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Khushrav Bhada

DJ, podcast host and team partner at T.H.E, Khushrav is a music enthusiast whose interests spread across all genres from electronic to hip-hop to classical opera.
Khushrav Bhada
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1 Comment

  1. Avatar for Khushrav Bhada

    There are many really good EDM artists in India as well. The current EDM scene in India is mostly ruled by Nucleya well known for his quirky works like Koocha Monster and Bass Rani. Nucleya has changed the EDM game in India and taken it to another level by mixing heavy bass, and dramatic beat drops with unique indian elements (Akkad Bakkad, Bhayanak Aatma, Horn Ok Please). He has also created never-seen-before country tours like Bass Yatra and Sub cinema which have proved to be huge successes. Listen to his tracks and you would know the EDM scene in India isn’t lacking much https://www.saavn.com/s/artist/nucleya-songs/nZkjTeNYKxY_


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