The clubs might be shut but the scene keeps on moving…
Both leading digital download platforms Beatport and Juno Download have exclusively revealed to UKF.com that they’ve witnessed a significant rise in both drum & bass sales and the amount of drum & bass releases published throughout 2020.
Following a year of big releases and first-ever Beatport overall number ones in 2019, 2020 saw the amount of drum & bass activity increase on the site in a major way: as well as three more overall number ones (Serum – Chop House, Bou & Trigga – Veteran VIP and Phibes remix of Beat Assassins Homegrown) sales of the genre were up by 17% while the amount of releases published and sold on the site were up by 12.5%.
Sales of drum & bass have also enjoyed an even higher rise on UK site Junodownload with sales going up by 20% between 2019 and 2020 and raise in amount of published releases of 22%.
“We are not really surprised here at Junodownload and it’s a trend we have seen emerging over the last few years,” says David Goulvent, head of business development at Juno Download. “Despite the severe consequences of COVID on the music industry, D&B artists were in a strong position to switch to online, having built up engaged digital communities over the past few years. Whether it is the old D&B guard continuing to produce quality music or the rise of new talent with new sounds, it has been a healthy year for drum & bass and all its sub genres continuing to give it a wider appeal.”
The message is the same from Beatport as Yann Bonnet, the curator for drum & bass and many other bass-related genres for Beatport, explains. “It’s a kind of ‘golden age,’” he tells UKF.
“The historical artists and labels are still active, whilst, at the same time, a bunch of newcomers and new labels grew rapidly (in less than two years). Moreover, the large spectrum of drum & bass and its subgenres allow a great diversity of production, making the genre more popular worldwide. Also, it’s really satisfying to see that Beatport is consolidating its place as reference no.1 for the community, giving increased support and exposure to this historical and evolving music genre which has been reinventing itself over the years – this year being one of the most prolific!”
In a current sea of negative news and frustrating restrictions, this is a major positive for drum & bass music. The genre has had a huge presence on both download stores including featured label promotions on Juno Download and Beatport’s D&B Re:Connect sessions attracted millions of views with the likes of Teebee, Netsky, Noisia and Chase & Status who hosted their RTRNIIFABRIC launch with the platform.
For added insight, Beatport, who have highlighted IMANU in their new-generation championing campaign Beatport Next, have also revealed that drum & bass is the second top genre on Beatport Link, the site’s subscription-based service that enables DJs to stream the tracks they’re mixing. This is especially interesting as, around 15 years ago when the industry switched from analog to digital, drum & bass was one of the last genres to accept downloads because of the strength of its vinyl and dubplate culture.
Another interesting trend revealed by the download store were stats regarding sales per territory. The ongoing UK vs New Zealand banter takes yet another interesting twist as the countries enjoyed rises in sales of 36% and 44% respectively while both the U.S.A and Australia both saw a rise of 22% in sales. Elsewhere France and Canada both saw a smaller 2% rise in sales.
Bearing in mind these sales are during a year when there have been minimal gigs for any level of selector since March, these are impressive statistics and encouraging for a scene that’s constantly moving, growing and developing. What’s more, with almost a year of lockdowns under most of our collective belts, the diversity of the sound and proliferation could well continue to rise in 2021 leading to even more increases in sales. We look forward to seeing how that develops. In the meantime, big up every single person who bought any type of music, product, merch or subscription from artists and labels this year. Without that type of support and dedication during the most challenging of times, positive news like this would not exist.