Electronic dance music has not only taken the world by storm, it’s changing the way the music industry operates financially. While most musicians are happy making six figure salaries over the course of a year, DJs such as Calvin Harris and Tiesto make that in a night. Harris earned more money than Jay-Z last year. Tiesto made $30 million last year, and not one of the top 15-earning DJs made less than $10 million last year, according to Forbes.com. That kind of money begs the question, who’s paying these guys?
Turns out, there are a handful of uber-rich billionaires who can afford to pay EDM DJs that kind of money, because they’re making tenfold the profit charging admission to see these superstars do their thing. So, who are the guys behind the scenes making the real money, and what do they have planned for the future of EDM?
Big Names, Bigger Money in the Electronic Dance Music Industry
Robert F.X. Sillerman – Media mogul Sillerman, rather than lay back and wallow in his wealth at the ripe old age of 65, has decided to spend $1 billion to acquire electronic music ventures and promoters from around the globe, Forbes reported. Not only does he want to become richer, he wants to share his spoils. Sillerman filed an S-1 in June for his company SFX Entertainment, meaning it’s going public.
Steve Wynn – Vegas gaming giant Steve Wynn has more than a finger in the EDM pie; he’s in it up to his elbow. The 70-year-old owner of Wynn Las Vegas has four EDM venues. “Wynn has become the epicenter of dance music culture in America,” independent label Ultra Music’s Patrick Moxey told Billboard.com. Vegas is eclipsing the Spanish island of Ibiza as the world’s top spot for the EDM dance scene, and a lot of that is due to Wynn.
The Meat and Potatoes Behind the Moguls
While financial backing is required to make a mega-splash on the EDM scene, creative management is equally critical. In terms of splash, a few names stand out.
Ryan Jaso – Jaso is the biggest name in the hottest market in the hippest EDM city on the planet, Los Angeles. Responsible for moving dance music out of seedy warehouses and dropping it in the spectacle that is the Control Los Angeles building, Jaso routinely lands the biggest EDM DJ names as manager of Control. How did he do it? In a recent interview with MAGNETIC, Jaso said simply, “We just installed the biggest and best resolution LED wall on the West Coast.” So what’s next for Jaso? “I want my own venue,” he said plainly.
Pete Tong – Tong is legendary in the EDM world. Not only is he an extremely gifted DJ, he has experience is almost every aspect of the industry, from mixing to media. FMQB.com recently reported Premier Networks has announced the launch of the radio show, “Evolution with Peter Tong.” As the host, Tong will be interviewing the biggest names in the EDM industry, including Swedish House Mafia, deadmau5, Luciano, Richie Hawtin and Calvin Harris.
Though each plays a unique role in the EDM scene, these four men have all made themselves kings in the industry.