Skip to main content

Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid DJs are earning the lowest amount since 2013

But Calvin Harris still netted a cool $48million... 

Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid DJs, topped by Calvin Harris, are earning the lowest amount since 2013 according to this year's International Music Summit report from Ibiza.

Dance music's share of the global music market in general has declined over the 12 months to December 2018. The UK saw the biggest loss— from 11.6 to 9.5%. In the US, the drop was from 3.5 to 3%. Germany and Canada, meanwhile, actually saw electronic genres grow during the same period.

The top 10 names in the most recent Forbes Highest-Paid DJs list saw overall earnings decline significantly, bringing in a total of $261million combined— the lowest since 2013. This can at least be partly attributed to attendance numbers in Las Vegas, the most financially significant club market in the world, where just 7% of visitors went to a dance event last year, less than half the number in 2016.  

Despite this, dance and electronic music styles rank as the third most popular on the planet, with an estimated 1.5billion people listening to associated sounds worldwide. It's also worth noting that the video games industry, which is worth more than seven-times its music counterpart, has had a major impact on the electronic scene of late. Dixon, The Black Madonna, Solomun and Tale of Us appeared in 'Grand Theft Auto', Marshmello performed live inside 'Fortnite' and Skrillex made the theme tune to 'Kingdom Hearts III' with Hikaru Utada and Poo Bear. 

Read our in-depth feature on electronic music's newest frontier.