Nicholas Maguigad ‘21
The music industry has always been heavily reliant on live performances. Millions of dollars in ticket sales have been lost, and many concerts and live venues have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many musicians and artists uncertain about the future of their craft. Luckily for DJs and EDM fans, the digital landscape of social media has changed the course of the industry in productive and interesting ways while they await the return of live shows.
Social media has had a huge impact on the electronic music scene, most notably through live streams. Many online platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitch have become a new home for many DJs. The trend started off small but really started to gain fervor after DJ and producer Diplo began his weekly Saturday night stream, Coronight Fever.
The first few weeks had small viewership for someone with superstar status, usually hovering around three thousand viewers. He only streamed on Instagram Live, and the backdrop was simply his room, a tv screen with trippy visuals, and some disco lights. But as the nights continued, Diplo found ways to innovate and set himself apart. First, Diplo started to stream to multiple platforms at once: YouTube, Twitch, and Instagram became the central platforms for his stream to grow. He also invited DJ Dillion Francis on the set (a DJ performance), making his stream a collaborative event and doubling the audience with double the fanbase. The most popular addition to his live streams was his greenscreen, allowing for fun and interactive visuals to keep viewers engaged. Soon, Coronight Fever became a fan favorite event, pulling in thousands of views on all three platforms, especially Twitch. The popularity of Coronight Fever on Twitch undoubtedly contributed to the spike Twitch’s overall viewership and encouraged more DJs to confidently stream their sets.
Also, Diplo and Dillon Francis streamed on their Twitch channel, MadDecentLive, named after Diplo’s first record label. By live streaming on his own label’s channel instead of a personal one, Diplo drew attention to lesser known artists who also streamed on the label’s channel. Before the live stream craze, lesser known DJs had few options for exposure, one being opening for bigger DJs. Opening a concert is limiting in terms of exposure, as only the fans at the live concert actually get to see the opener, and that’s if they’re even paying attention; most people wait for the main event to really hit the dance floor. With the rise of social media platforms serving as new homes for DJs, more people can access the streams and even re-watch them, depending on what platform the DJ uses. Online exposure is on the rise for electronic music, and the opportunities for new stars have never been better.
The post-pandemic club scene is also ripe with opportunities. Many club and venue managers pay big money for top DJs in order to draw a large crowd. However, as reopening begins, the restricted nature of safety precautions will limit the possibilities for large crowds, making big DJs a waste of money for clubs and venues. This constraint incentivizes clubs and venues to find smaller, local talent instead. Due to the increase in social media presence and live streaming, many of these smaller DJs have hours of mixing that they can use to promote themselves to venues and managers. The post-pandemic clubs will most likely resemble the diverse underground scene from which electronic music originated. Overall, the combination of social media and live streaming has sparked endless creativity in the realm of DJing and has brought about a new age of prosperity for the electronic music industry as a whole.
The content of this article, as with every article posted on The Exchanged, does not represent the views of the staff of The Exchanged nor the National Cathedral School, St. Albans School, Protestant Episcopal Foundation, or any employee thereof. Opinions written are those of the writer and the writer alone.