Highlights From The Ibiza International Music Summit

Designed and hosted by the infamous Pete Tong, it’s hard not to think of the IMS in Ibiza as a TED convention for dance music and DJs. The summit, which took place last week, is a yearly gathering of industry mavens with a central goal of advancing discussion on electronic dance music culture. IMS has released some great wrap-up videos of the event, check them out inside.


The conference kicked off last Wednesday with interviews and panels from Twitter, Spotify, Foursquare, management from Pretty Lights, Chase & Status, and Professor Green, as well as a great Skype interview with Danny Tenaglia discussing why he’s retiring from the DJ business.


Industry taste-maker Diplo was one of the Keynote Interviewees at this year’s IMS, and he shared his unique perspective as to how his label survives and thrives in the current market. If you’re a follower of Mad Decent, you’ll have caught on to the labels recent commercial partnerships, notably with Pepsi and Blackberry – and here’s why:

Naturally, accepting corporate sponsorship will read to some die-hard fans and aficionados as “selling out”, but Mad Decent seems to be attempting to engage in a careful balancing act that keeps the culture around the label and the artists original and fresh. Talkback in the comments: What do you think about this type of decision – is it selling out or staying alive? 


Day Three discussed the massive rising EDM music market in India, and also hosted an awesome one-on-one with Loco Dice and Carl Cox. Anyone ready to do a massive DJ tour of the United States of India?


IMS is over until 2013, but we think that even just from these brief recaps and the commentary we’ve seen around the web on Twitter and other social media, it’s been one of the most inspiring events of the year. We think that Pete Tong has put together as close as we’re going to see to a really high quality TED-style event for DJs and electronic producers. Some of the reports that have come out of the event are interesting as well, especially for those of you who might be more into the business aspect of the industry. We’re getting a lot out of the IMS 2012 Consumer Report, which reports on who dance music customers are and what they’re after – based on 750,000 interviews conducted. Check it out here.

What did you find inspiring out of these IMS highlights? We want to know what resonated with you – share in the comments below.

Chase & StatusDanny Tenagliaibizainternational music summitloco dicePete TongPretty LightsProfessor Greented
Comments (17)
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  • Erik Mitchell

    The music industry as we used to know it is dead, do not expect to make any money selling your music to your fans via MP3. Licensing, sponsorships, live shows, merch, etc. is looking like the only way for many artists to survive these days

  • Nictwist

    I consider saving yourself and selling yourself out to be the same thing.  In order to save yourself, you sell out, when you sell out, it’s usually to save yourself.  the only time i would consider it fully selling out is when the label is doing well without lots of sponsers and then gets them anyways

  • Lauti

    of course its selling out. How else would you make money if you don’t sell yourself? Now, you can sell yourself to, say, alcohol companies, technology etc; or you can sell yourself for some shady middle east prince (as many rappers do). In the end most musicians (specially djs) are just hustlers hustling their way out.

  • Mike Linder

    I dont consider it selling out at all, licensing and sponsorships are the main way to make it in this industry with the way things are going.  If it lets them not work a day job, and focus on making music full time, more power to them!

  • Bishop D'Guruve

    Of course its not selling out. In fact a lot of acts that are putting out tracks that are free to the public require a cost if used commercially. As a consumer of the music it means I can get tracks at a sharply discounted cost (meaning in some cases legally free) while if I want to see that artist perform that will cost me.

    Also if you are lucrative and lucky enough to get your tracks into TV, Movies, and or video games then that is even better.

    Take Pretty Lights for example. A lot if not all of their tracks (and other artist on the label) are free. But you want to book them to do a show and it will cost you.

    Its not the best business model for everyone but it is a good model as long as you are not just gonna make songs and then sit around expecting to make a living with out touring, performing, or getting plugs.

      • Bishop D'Guruve

        There are there other people with him when he preforms. He also collabs a lot. And I am talking about Grammatik and the others on the label as well.

      • flip the skript

        pretty lights used to be two guys. he used to have a drummer. 

        • Speezy Speez

          incorrect. he had a drummer play with him on tour. that is very different

      • flip the skript

         pretty lights used to be two guys. he used to have a drummer.

  • Michael_lawrence01

    I dont think its selling out at all…as long as they remember where they came from and stay true to the art form….its business! and adapting to the enviornment. Like it or not; money makes the world go round and those that are ahead of the game know how to make it spin!

    • Ronald Edwards

      While money is the universal barter tool, there are no moral regulations on business, just laws. Push back when sponsors “suggest” changing things. Even the best of people fall victim to one form or another of corruption. It’s best to get a handle on resolving corruption up-front.

  • Guy

    It’s nice to see that Winter Music Conference has come back from the dead. 😉