Advertising Week Spotlight: EDM and the Billion-View Club on YouTube

Pictured above: EDM artist Kaskade

Who can explain the phenomenon that is Electronic Dance Music (EDM) on YouTube? Or, rather, why isn’t anyone exploring the phenomenon, or even calling it one? To put some perspective on just how much the genre towers over not just music on YouTube, but everything else, look at how its numbers compare to the platform’s current reigning monarch: PewDiePie.

With nearly 31 million channel subscriptions and over 6 billion views across his entire video archive, PewDiePie is the only YouTuber with more subscriptions than YouTube itself. (The platform’s own channel tops out at just over 22 million subscriptions.) So, no one, not even YouTube (if you can wrap your mind around that), comes close to the popularity of PewDiePie when it comes to subscribers. Yet, when you start talking about total views, the phenomenon of EDM takes center stage.

Let’s compare. PewDiePie’s most popular upload (“A Funny Montage”) has attracted about 60 million views. Again, impressive, until you compare it to “Animals.” No, not “animals,” as in uploads of furry creatures doing adorable things, but “Animals,” the EDM track written and produced by Martin Garrix. The song’s official video uploaded to his label’s (Spinnin’ Records) channel currently has over 360 million views. To be clear: that is nearly six times as many views as PewDiePie’s most popular upload. (And nearly 40 million more views than people in the United States.)

Perhaps a more relevant comparison would be to pit “Animals” against other current popular songs by artists across a wider spectrum, not just EDM. Stacked against top tracks from Justin Timberlake to Kanye West, Garrix still buries the competition. “Animals” even outperforms the ubiquitous “Single Ladies” from Beyoncé.

EDM comparison

Garrix’s label, in fact, is the top-viewed and most-subscribed of all EDM labels with YouTube channels. Spinnin’ Records is nearing 7 million subscribers and has over 3 billion views. In third, Armada Music has recently entered the “billion-view” club, featuring artists such as Armin van Buuren and Dash Berlin. In second, Ultra Music’s two-and-a-half million subscribers watched its video uploads two-and-a-half billion times.

EDM video comparison

The growing population currently viewing and engaging in EDM music and culture on YouTube is one of the best-kept secrets on the platform. And it is enormous.

Anyone interested in drilling down even deeper into one of the more fascinating subsets of YouTube culture would do well to attend ZEFR’s panel at the 11th annual Advertising Week in New York City, “Video Today: Where Culture for Brands is Born.” Featuring one of Ultra Music’s marquee artists, the panel includes two-time Grammy-nominated EDM artist Kaskade, who will speak about how culture has come to drive some of the most unique (and most watched) content in digital video. As a contributing member to Ultra’s ascendence to the “billion-view” club, his insights are not to be missed.

ZEFR Panel at Advertising Week: “Video Today: Where Culture for Brands is Born”

Date: Wednesday, October 1

Time: 2:45 pm

Location: Times Center Hall, 242 West 41st Street, New York, NY, 10036

Panelists: Kaskade (multi-Grammy nominated DJ, artist, and producer); Bonin Bough (VP of Global Media and Consumer Engagement, Mondelez); Doug Ray (Global President, Carat). Moderated by Dave Rosner, SVP of Marketing, ZEFR


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