2. Preface: EDM and the digital domain
You, the DJ, the manager and the event or festival producer, must address the context of the digital domain.
Estimated reading time 3 minutes
In the mid-1990s, the internet surfaces in mainstream culture. It is the start of the digital revolution. Or rather, it is the beginning of a chain reaction that seems to be unstoppable. It has fundamentally changed the way we spend money and save money, relax, work, start and conserve relationships, shop, study, even how we date.
Older generations stubbornly try to adapt to this new reality. In their book, Generatie Z (Generation Z), René Boender and Jos Ahlers maintain that youngsters who are growing up in this new reality do not know a world without the world wide web and its prominent presence in daily life, a world that is shaped by swiftly developing technology. They belong to a generation that cannot remember – nor imagine – a world without online communication, according to Boender and Ahlers. In that respect, they are the first generation in the history of mankind: they are digital natives. Boenders and Ahlers use the term Generation Z for this generation of digital natives, born from 1992 onward. In American professional literature, older generations, born before 1992, are often referred to as digital immigrants. These generations have – often against their will – migrated to the digitized world, yet sometimes find it hard to acclimatize. On the blog Omni, Ahlers writes: Digital immigrants feel the need for a user guide, digital natives don’t.
Not too long ago it became apparent that the internet has become part of life’s basic necessities. Meanwhile, in most parts of the world the internet has become a commodity, for digital natives in particular. The largest population that has grown up with EDM are digital natives. It is exactly this group that naturally depends on the internet ecosystem, the digital domain. These days, EDM is an integral part of a digital domain that became available to the mainstream audience some twenty years ago. It is therefore obvious to state that EDM and the digital domain go hand in hand.
The digital domain is an ecosystem of thousands and thousands sub-ecosystems: online communities of end-users (fans and clients), developers, suppliers and distributors. They use each another’s strong points, complement and strengthen one another in order to jointly create value for other end-users. This is the basis of the digital economy, of which the contemporary creative industry – and therefore the entertainment industry – is an integral part.
In its broadest sense, the internet is often defined as the total system of interaction between industry, brand, product, data and people. It includes all stakeholders: partners, suppliers, competitors, clients, analysts, commentators, journalists, bloggers, prospects, and individual fans and clients. The technical infrastructure and the network’s functions are part of the internet ecosystem. By viewing the internet ecosystem as a business ecosystem, one actually sees the emergence of new value models in the relationships of all the internet ecosystem’s stakeholders.
The internet is an ecosystem; it comprises a micro-ecosystem, which is your bit, and the macro-ecosystem directed by operating systems and search engines, of which your bit is a part. The internet infiltrates through all layers of companies, organizations and brands. It functions as a fluid entity that envelops companies, organizations and brands, and touches upon almost any discipline of a company, organization or brand. You, as a DJ or event/festival producer, need to adapt to it.
It is all about the various devices and platforms we connect to, the digital landscapes we go to and the mutual relationships between individuals, companies, organizations and brands. Meanwhile, the internet and its (social) ecosystem is everyone’s 24/7/365 concern. The DJ and event producer have to meet this new reality. You should make available time, people and resources (know-how, money and tools); develop an adequate policy; and create a solid action plan that clarifies your ambition and objectives, based on proper insight, relevant content, and the realization and maintenance of connections. The ecosystem’s user, i.e. fan or client of a DJ or event producer, is the focus of this policy.
The digital transformation is primarily about rapidly embracing the technology that will profoundly change processes and performance of companies and organizations. It profoundly changes the business model as well. The internet ecosystem, the business model, the organization, the data, the DJ, the event, the festival, the fan and the content are all part of the digital domain of which EDM has become an element.
DJs and event producers currently build an enormous fan-base via social platforms. The emergence of advanced tools for the management of fans and clients opens up the opportunity to build relationships that lead to transactions. This publication describes the context – the wider framework that attaches significance and meaning – of EDM and the digital domain. You, the DJ, the manager and the event or festival producer, must address the context of the digital domain. You have to transform, invest in transformation, and formulate a digital strategy, as the digital train will not wait for laggards. This publication will inform you of how the coherence of content, connection and currency functions, and how (potential) fans and clients fit in it.