‘Masters of the $6.2 Billion EDM universe’: Billboard shines light on dance music’s power players
“Who are the masters of the $6.2 Billion EDM universe?” That’s exactly what Billboard is asking… and answering. Bringing the scene’s power players front and center, both parts of the feature that have been published this week highlight the DJs, then the executives, whom fit the description: “These tastemakers are dazzling the industry with the intensity of a stunning lazer show.”
Those who’ve earned such status from behind the booth and in the studio are well-accomplished stars within the community and ambassadors of it to the outside world; Grammy winners, international broadcasters, genre benders, and icons. Skrillex and Diplo have the public eye, Pete Tong, Annie Macmanus, and Danny Howard have the globe’s ears, and 12th Planet comes in as a wildcard artist who’s revealed to have hands in more cookie jars than his dubstep following may assume.
As far as executives, the realm of such power players has been magnified since the involvement of publicly traded companies in dance music. Live Nation’s President of Electronic Music James Barton and SFX Entertainment CEO Robert Sillerman — along with the latter’s European head Duncan Stutterheim — head the pack that continues with those most powerful in the fields of live events, promotion, management, agencies, labels, and law.
Those behind putting on the show and bringing the magic to life: Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella, HARD Events Founder Gary Richards, Ultra Music Festival’s Co-Founder/President/CEO Russell Faibisch and Executive Producer/Director of Business Affairs Adam Russakoff.
Management leaders include Blood Company Owner Tim Smith, Three Six Zero Group Co-Founders Mark Gillespie and Dean Wilson, At Night Founder Ash Pournouri, and ATM’s Amy Thomson. All of whom equate to the forces behind acts such as Skrillex, Calvin Harris, Avicii, and Swedish House Mafia, to name just a few.
Dance music’s super-agents are also heavily represented, with AM Only Founder Paul Morris, William Morris Endeavor’s Head of Global Electronic Music Joel Zimmerman, and Creative Artists Agency’s Hunter Williams being prominent leaders.
Record labels, too, play into EDM’s power equation, now more than ever. Where big wheels are turning, the spotlight shines aptly on Ultra Records Owner and Sony Music President of Electronic Music Patrick Moxey, Spinnin’ Records Co-Founders Eelko van Kooten and Roger de Graaf, and Astralwerks GM Glenn Mendlinger.
Also making a forceful leap to the label-head leadership board is Steve Angello, whose strides since Swedish House Mafia’s disbanding have all facets of the Size Records growing steadily — enough so to find him in company with those behind the desks rather than the decks. Not to be missed is entertainment lawyer Ed Shapiro of Reed Smith, representing everyone from Kaskade to Eric Prydz, responsible for negotiating massive residency contracts, publishing agreements, and legal matters behind the new opportunities dance music presents at its unprecedented rate.