Why EDM is thriving while other genres aren't
|Slide show: The People of Skylab 2012|
Of course, the game changes when your act blows up, and you're expected to have compelling visuals as well -- think Deadmau5' LED cube and Skrillex' spaceship.
"When you're at the top of the DJ world, [much] of your guarantee is going towards massive, incredible productions," Goldman says "Skrillex is an example of that, Boys Noize, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii -- all of the top guys have these huge productions they bring with them; that is becoming a big part of the game. "
As such, there is an increasing amount of overhead for top tier producers. This trend is also trickling down as smaller acts try and keep up. "It's funny, because of the stigma of the button pushing thing and because DJs are so ubiquitous now, smaller and smaller acts are working out deals to get productions going."
And while big touring DJs can still move units, record sales are more of a perk than a goal.
"The industry isn't about album sales anymore," Goldman says, "so revenues are not directly benefiting the record labels as much as they're benefiting everybody who's involved with the actual live shows themselves." This includes managers and crew members. Furthermore, many of the top DJs have started their own labels, like Deadmau5' Mau5trap, Fool's Gold, and Steve Aoki's Dim Mak.
"At a certain point," Goldman says, "you just become an industry."
Here's hoping it doesn't repeat the mistakes of the old music industry.