The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
The business of dance music Control Surfaces
Old 30th December 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

The business of dance music

I'm curious about what kind of a living you can make producing dance music...How much money for the biggest hits? I understand the financial success of most music producers is intertwined with their DJing careers, which in turn promotes their music and markets their brand, but what about digital downloads/ album sales?


Take for example "Put your hands up for detroit" by Fedde Le Grand, the song is played out all the time in clubs/ bars I go to that cater to a pop crowd, tracks like that that cross over must generate some serious income, but I continuously hear about very low sales especially here in the US. Somebody enlighten me, thanks in advance
Old 30th December 2010
  #2
Very little money, from the few DJ's I know.
I think the majority of income is made from public appearances, actually DJ'ing.
The top guys would be able to command high fees, but then it takes years (and a bit of good fortune) to become one of the 'top guys'.
Old 30th December 2010
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
JCM123's Avatar
 

Deadmau5, Skrillex, Justice etc. all make there money from live shows.
So its simple, the more people that show up the more money you make.
But its not easy.
Old 30th December 2010
  #4
Gear Head
 

An acquaintance of mine is fairly well known on the techno circuit and he maintains that to stay alive you have to constantly gig. He reckons that if you are going to make money out of releasing tracks alone you have to release a track a week or something approaching that. It is tough - so much so that he has had to go back to teaching music production classes to make ends meet. He is also like I say relatively well known so it does mean for the rest of us it is challenging at best. Sad as it is I don't think unless you are incredibly lucky it can ever be a way of making money, I think we have to accept that we do it because we love it and all we should want/expect from it is enjoyment.
Old 30th December 2010
  #5
basically in the US, there is no dance music business
Old 31st December 2010
  #6
Gear Nut
 
alteredtensions's Avatar
 

It's very very hard to do just producing. If you have a big track, that could mean a few thousand dollars tops, and you won't see it for 6 months to a year from the time you sign it over. Chances are you won't get a big advance unless you're a bigger name, and even then it's not much. The amount most guys on the dj circuit make in 1 night will easily overshadow nearly any track they put out. There are exceptions of course, but it's very very hard to make it on just producing your own music. If you get into producing other's music as well as your own, then it becomes a little easier, but still, the number's in producing dance music is nothing compared more mainstream stuff. Numbers as in, you'd barely be able to afford to live in a cardboard box without supplemental income on top of it.

And on top of all of it, if you're just starting out, nobody will pay you for anything. Not for a while at least. That's the harsh reality, I've lived through it, and it definitely gets better, but it's certainly not easy.
Old 5th January 2011
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
darthtrader's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by camron123 View Post
Deadmau5, Skrillex, Justice etc. all make there money from live shows.
So its simple, the more people that show up the more money you make.
But its not easy.
You don't have to be at that level. There are guys in psytrance that no one has ever heard of outside that scene that make ok money for traveling around the world and going to parties basically.
You aren't going to make rock star money like the outliers mentioned above but if you are good enough you certainly could make money off gigs/parties and not really work if you live cheap.
Not my ideal now but if I was 20, hell yea.
Old 5th January 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
tobias schuch's Avatar
 

Theres good money in gigging for sure, if you like that lifestyle.

In 2009 i started dj'ing/gigging, playing sets of about 20% original material and as soon as i had played 3 or so shows i had no problem getting $300+ for a 1-1.5 hr set. That was after 2 weeks from my very first show. If you have even an alright name for yourself in your scene you can make $1000+/night pretty easily.

I've heard rumors of people like Guetta making 70,000 euros for a 3 hr set.
Old 6th January 2011
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Good input in this thread.

I'd like to know from the ppl who were successfully djing/producing before..when you're starting out, would you say its a "must" to play already familiar songs in a set? When was the point you incorporated your own tracks and remixes?

Let's say you've been producing dance/electro records for quite a time..but never dj-ed before. If your own catalogue is hot enough, would you actually have a chance to get gigs solely based on your own music?

Excuse the silly questions. I'm just trying to get some insides because i did think about this option before.

How does it usually work..you hand out a demo of your set and if the club owner or the person responsible likes it, you get a chance to perform?
How many hours of a set do you have to bring to the table as a newcomer? What's the standard you'd expect?
Do dj's work out an exclusive contract sometimes or why do you usually see the same dj performing at the same club every weekend?


I mean i know all this is harder than it sounds...but i would be thankful if someone could elaborate on that.

thanks.
Old 6th January 2011
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
tobias schuch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Greenway View Post
Good input in this thread.

I'd like to know from the ppl who were successfully djing/producing before..when you're starting out, would you say its a "must" to play already familiar songs in a set? When was the point you incorporated your own tracks and remixes?

Let's say you've been producing dance/electro records for quite a time..but never dj-ed before. If your own catalogue is hot enough, would you actually have a chance to get gigs solely based on your own music?

Excuse the silly questions. I'm just trying to get some insides because i did think about this option before.

How does it usually work..you hand out a demo of your set and if the club owner or the person responsible likes it, you get a chance to perform?
How many hours of a set do you have to bring to the table as a newcomer? What's the standard you'd expect?
Do dj's work out an exclusive contract sometimes or why do you usually see the same dj performing at the same club every weekend?


I mean i know all this is harder than it sounds...but i would be thankful if someone could elaborate on that.

thanks.
I'd say its VERY important to play other peoples music, especially when starting out.
Your catalog might be super hot, but unless people are used to hearing it in a club, there will be a lot of heads on the dancefloor wondering when they're going to hear ______ . In my experience you're more likely to book smaller/underground gigs that way.

I think the best way to go is to drop your own tracks between more popular tracks, if someone comes up to you and asks what your track was, you know that its hot if it stands out. As soon as you're playing 50% of your own tracks, you're doing pretty well imo.

Make a few sets and start targeting promoters who are playing your sort of music. Offer to play for free, chances are you'll be opening the night if you have no gigging history/experience, so you'll be lucky if you have a half full dancefloor...
As for set times, it really varies. I've known people who started out playing 30 minute sets between other acts, it really depends on the venue/promoter/night
Network, make friends with promoters, fans, every random person at a club/venue might be the next person who is booking you. Carry a handful of CD's with sets on just incase someone asks, or at least a card with a link to soundcloud/mixcloud/whatever.

I don't know of any dj's with an exclusive contract (not to say that it doesnt happen) as many dj's have multiple residencies on different nights.
I found it tough to get promoters to sign contracts when starting out, but i RAPIDLY found out that you should never play without a contract of some sorts (unless its with a promoter who you have a good track record with).
I've had sets canceled after traveling, setup and 5 minutes before i was supposed to play. Also, some clubs will be awesome about giving you a big free guest list (and drinks etc), some will not, so its good to outline exactly what you want upfront. I won't babble on about stuff thats good to consider in a rider (unless you want me to), as its a whole separate issue.
Old 6th January 2011
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobias schuch View Post
I'd say its VERY important to play other peoples music, especially when starting out.
Your catalog might be super hot, but unless people are used to hearing it in a club, there will be a lot of heads on the dancefloor wondering when they're going to hear ______ . In my experience you're more likely to book smaller/underground gigs that way.

I think the best way to go is to drop your own tracks between more popular tracks, if someone comes up to you and asks what your track was, you know that its hot if it stands out. As soon as you're playing 50% of your own tracks, you're doing pretty well imo.

Make a few sets and start targeting promoters who are playing your sort of music. Offer to play for free, chances are you'll be opening the night if you have no gigging history/experience, so you'll be lucky if you have a half full dancefloor...
As for set times, it really varies. I've known people who started out playing 30 minute sets between other acts, it really depends on the venue/promoter/night
Network, make friends with promoters, fans, every random person at a club/venue might be the next person who is booking you. Carry a handful of CD's with sets on just incase someone asks, or at least a card with a link to soundcloud/mixcloud/whatever.

I don't know of any dj's with an exclusive contract (not to say that it doesnt happen) as many dj's have multiple residencies on different nights.
I found it tough to get promoters to sign contracts when starting out, but i RAPIDLY found out that you should never play without a contract of some sorts (unless its with a promoter who you have a good track record with).
I've had sets canceled after traveling, setup and 5 minutes before i was supposed to play. Also, some clubs will be awesome about giving you a big free guest list (and drinks etc), some will not, so its good to outline exactly what you want upfront. I won't babble on about stuff thats good to consider in a rider (unless you want me to), as its a whole separate issue.
Wow thanks for taking the time to write all this!

I see what you mean. Ppl just expect certain songs or the more popular stuff to drop when they go to a club.

What about the equipment? I mean its obvious you bring you're own dj equip + laptop whatever with you and they provide a PA sound system.

But who will hook up the whole thing? Do they expect you to bring your own audio interface to the club?
I'm just curious whats the standard there...

thanks.
Old 6th January 2011
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
tobias schuch's Avatar
 

yeye no problem at all.

Yup, no matter what style of music is being played, there will always be the connoisseur types who want to hear obscure **** and no matter what you play its always going to be dated. Then there are the majority of club goers who want to hear either radio hits, beatport hits/top 20 etcetc. Even if a track is an absolute banger, unless people have heard it before and know the drops and how hard its going to hit, its not going to make people go off like a track they know and love.

As for equipment every self respecting club will have a djm 800, cdj1000mk3's and tech 12's. (These have probably been updated since i was on the gigging scene). If you're playing records/serato, bring your own needles. Every club i've played at/know has serato, or the resident dj of the night provides serato, so you should never have to worry about that. (Another good reason a rider is handy, to make sure everything you want is there and setup, not in another room etc)
I've played serato, traktor, cd's etc, but the majority of my sets were ableton + lemur and i took an interface with me (obviously). Its a huge pain in the ass to play like this for the average show, its awesome if you're really making the most of it and playing a mainly original set. Hooking it up in a dj booth, knocking dj's playing before you and generally causing a ruckus sucks.... Unless you're headlining keep to serato/cds/vinyl... imo, its just SOO much easier that way.
Old 6th January 2011
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobias schuch View Post
yeye no problem at all.

Yup, no matter what style of music is being played, there will always be the connoisseur types who want to hear obscure **** and no matter what you play its always going to be dated. Then there are the majority of club goers who want to hear either radio hits, beatport hits/top 20 etcetc. Even if a track is an absolute banger, unless people have heard it before and know the drops and how hard its going to hit, its not going to make people go off like a track they know and love.

As for equipment every self respecting club will have a djm 800, cdj1000mk3's and tech 12's. (These have probably been updated since i was on the gigging scene). If you're playing records/serato, bring your own needles. Every club i've played at/know has serato, or the resident dj of the night provides serato, so you should never have to worry about that. (Another good reason a rider is handy, to make sure everything you want is there and setup, not in another room etc)
I've played serato, traktor, cd's etc, but the majority of my sets were ableton + lemur and i took an interface with me (obviously). Its a huge pain in the ass to play like this for the average show, its awesome if you're really making the most of it and playing a mainly original set. Hooking it up in a dj booth, knocking dj's playing before you and generally causing a ruckus sucks.... Unless you're headlining keep to serato/cds/vinyl... imo, its just SOO much easier that way.
Appreciate your input!
Old 11th January 2011
  #14
Lives for gear
make good tracks -> get signed to good labels -> make some official remixs > GIG$
Top Mentioned Products
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
OCDaveWilcox / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
3
OCDaveWilcox / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
1
Eddie T. Ellis / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
17
The Press Desk / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
0

Forum Jump
Forum Jump