As a business owner, it is your job to delight your customers. If you can bring your customers joy, they are more likely to visit you again. They might also be more likely to tell their friends and family members about your exceptional service.
On the surface, electronic dance music (or EDM, as it is commonly known) seems like a perfect fit. After all, when people are happy, they tend to dance. Why not add music that compels them to dance? Wouldn't that automatically make them happy?
This argument is logical, but it might not be accurate in all situations.
EDM Is Hard to Define
There are several different types of music that fall under the EDM heading. According to Complex, there are certain known EDM genres.
- House, which was heavily influenced by disco at its inception
- Techno, which added a dash of soul to the disco beats
- Trance, which is known for repetitive waves of sound that rise and fall
- Dubstep, known for an aggressive beat attack
- Drum and bass, which emphasizes the rhythmic part of each song
- Garage, which samples vocals and shifts the beat
- Grime, which is influenced by all other genres mentioned here but has a slightly grittier feel
- Trap, which is typically associated with southern rap
- Hardstyle, which uses catchy melodies and distorted drum sounds
- Moombahton, which is influenced by reggae
- Juke, which is a very fast, rhythmic form of music
- Breakbeat, which includes classic soul influences
- Downtempo, which is a bit like ambient, slow trance music
This is a long list, and EDM purists might say that this list omits other genres. People who pay close attention to the EDM genre are passionate about the music, and they spend long hours debating one another about musical styles, definitions, and beats.
People who follow EDM might also say that this isn't just a form of music: It's a lifestyle. In an article in Psychology Today, a therapist writes that EDM could be defined as a culture influenced by the 1960s. People who participate in that culture head to concerts (or raves) and spend time together, promoting what they call PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect). People like this may buy EDM music, but they might think of EDM as a group activity best handled in a concert arena.
Reaching a Commercial Audience With EDM
EDM is often associated with the young. As an article in The Guardian puts it, this is music that appeals to people ages 18 to 25 who often listen to the tunes while taking drugs and hoping to experience something transformative.
Reaching young people can be difficult for traditional businesses.
You might find it hard to get these customers away from their phones and computers long enough to really understand what is happening with your business. Playing this music in your business could help you to demonstrate that you speak their language and are worth their time.
But young people can be fickle, and their tastes can change quickly. There is at least some evidence that suggests EDM music is moving out of favor with the young. According to an article in Page Six, some celebrity DJs in the EDM genre are seeing decreases of 50 percent in their concert fees in Las Vegas. There are too many shows playing this music, owners say, so it is becoming passé.
Since EDM is made for dancing, it is also incredibly fast. According to research published in the journal Psychology and Marketing, that makes it difficult music to listen to while waiting. When people wait while listening to fast music, they tend to feel more annoyed. When the music is slower, they feel less irritated. If you have long lines in your business, fast music could send the wrong message.
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- An Idiot's Guide to EDM Genres. (October 2017). Complex.
- EDM and Well-Being: What Is EDM? (May 2013). Psychology Today.
- Why Music Purists Love to Hate Steve Aoki and EDM. (December 2014). The Guardian.
- Vegas Turns Up Nose at Superstar DJs. (March 2016). Page Six.
- Musical Tempo and Waiting Perceptions. (July 2003). Psychology and Marketing.