Electronic dance music, EDM, is getting a lot of buzz lately. Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio launched an EDM channel called Evolution in November with quite a bit of fanfare, including mixes curated by famous DJ’s like Pete Tong and a party in NYC hosted by Afrojack, another world famous EDM style DJ. Evolution quickly became the most popular online only channel on iHeartRadio. Next Clear Channel flipped its new station in Boston, WHBA, to the format.
As still more evidence of the popularity of the format, Billboard decided last week to start a new Dance/Electronic Songs Chart.
But EDM is not a new radio format, nor is it newly popular. It’s been a huge hit online for years, as stations like Digitally Imported know. DI.fm is the biggest electronic music station in the world, with more than 50 channels and more than a million listeners, according to Ari Shohat, Founder of the station. He says that EDM is a very broad category of music and the new stations and chart are focusing on the pop acts. One of the first Internet radio stations, DI launched in 1999 and plays “addictive electronic music” and offers listeners the long tail, with 50 channels of everything from House and Hardcore to Techno and Trance.
DI has had a large listener base for a long time. The new wave of more mass appeal stations online and on-air, as well as the new attention to the format from Billboard are benefitting from a format that has been alive and well online for a long time. EDM may be the first format to actually take hold online and then move on-air, but it probably won’t be the last..