When Do People Listen to EDM?

Electronic dance music, or EDM, began as a fringe movement with roots in the diverse music scenes of the ‘70s and ‘80s—disco, Detroit techno, hip-hop, dub, and more. Since then, EDM has become a powerful cultural force with a sound you can hear in everything from mainstream pop to the most arcane, underground electronic genres from around the world.

Central to the concept of electronic dance music, obviously, is the communal act of people getting together in real life to dance in the same place, on the same night, as a shared musical experience. That’s what attendees of the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) will be doing for the next four days (October 17-21).

Yes, this music was created for dancing together, but EDM fans can’t live at the club forever. So when do they stream EDM? The answer surprised us at first, but it actually makes sense:

People think of EDM as nighttime party music, but when it comes to their streaming habits, we see that they’re mostly listening in the afternoons and early evenings—especially on work and school nights. It could be that high-energy EDM music is just what these folks need to get through a stressful afternoon workday.

There’s another factor at play here: People listening to EDM while getting ready for the club. If we go beyond what’s in the chart above, we find that the day with the most EDM listening in the afternoon and early evening is Friday. It’s possible that club goers and party people are streaming EDM as they get ready to go out for the night.

But by late evening and nighttime—the times of day most associated with EDM in our popular imagination—EDM streaming dips lower than at any other time. Apparently, people who love EDM are either listening to something else at night, or they’re out dancing.

What’s also fascinating about EDM is that it bucks the trend of other genres prevalent at certain times, by increasing in the afternoon and evening when other genres, such as atmospheric, dip lower:

Looking to stream some of the hottest new EDM hits? Here’s the official Spotify playlist of the Amsterdam Dance Event.

— Article by Eliot Van Buskirk, Data/research by Jomar Perez