How Avicii Is Turning EDM Into a Global Marketing Machine
When Tim Bergling was a teen playing with audio software in his bedroom in Stockholm, he probably didn’t think of his craft as a marketing channel for fashion and electronics. But the 24-year old DJ’s accessible music and global popularity have made Avicii, as he’s now known, and other electronic dance music (EDM) acts a natural fit for brands looking to establish themselves with young audiences around the planet.
Avicii’s track record is impressive: 5 million singles sold and a licensing deal with Universal Music Group. He’s worked with some of EDM and the wider music industry’s biggest names, from “Queen of Clubs” Nadia Ali and veteran French DJ David Guetta, to C&W legend Mac Davis, and Madonna. More than 14 million Shazam users worldwide have tagged “Wake Me Up,” his hit with singer Aloe Blacc, making it the second most tagged tune of the year. Last month, Avicii won the AMA’s Electronic Dance Music Artist of the Year award.
These would be impressive accomplishments for any musician or vocalist. But Avicii is neither — he works with artists to produce and remix their work. And he works in a genre that developed in dark dance clubs, ad-hoc warehouse parties, and raves in Ibiza, where audiences tend to be focused on dancing, watching flashing lights, and getting a buzz. (Avicii says he parties sober to protect his health.) Which raises the question of how many people will pay to see a guy standing at a bank of turntables onstage in a more traditional concert venue like the Hollywood Bowl.