- Calvin Harris $66m
- David Guetta $30m
- Avicii $28m
- Tiesto $28m
- Steve Aoki $23m
- Afrojack $22m
- Zedd $21m
- Kaskade $17m
- Skrillex $16.5m (and 5 Grammy nominations)
- Deadmau5 $16m
The data was published by Forbes, who sourced it from:
earnings from live shows, merchandise sales, endorsements, recorded music sales and external business ventures. Earnings totals were calculated for the 12-month period from June 1, 2013 to June 1, 2014. Sources include Songkick, Pollstar, RIAA, managers, lawyers and some of the people at the heart of the EDM revolution.
Calvin Harris outsold Jay-Z last year:
When Calvin Harris topped last year’s Electronic Cash Kings list with a stunning $46 million in annual earnings, it seemed symptomatic of a bubble in the burgeoning EDM scene. But since then, the only thing that has popped is the income of the world’s highest-paid DJs.
…Harris, whose total surged to $66 million for the past 12 months, is once again EDM’s Cash King. The top ten earners on our list racked up a staggering $268 million this year, 11% more than the $241 million haul of last year’s top ten. Playing more than 50 festival and nightclub gigs, Harris even out-earned the likes of Toby Keith and Jay Z – but not Beyonce.
That’s an average of $1.3 million per gig for young mister Harris, who is the first artist to ever reach one billion online streams. He just bought a $15 million mansion in Beverly Hills, 18,000 square feet with 11 bathrooms.
Superstar DJs are choosing Nevada over Ibiza:
Guetta commands some of the top fees in Las Vegas but stays true to his European roots, maintaining a weekly residency in Ibiza. That’s increasingly uncommon, as DJs have been choosing the greener pastures of Nevada over the Mediterranean music Mecca.
“I’ve been going there for the last 10 years, it felt there was nothing special,” said third-ranked Tiësto last year, shortly after ditching his Ibiza residency. “And then I got the offer to play in Las Vegas … They made me a great proposal, not just the money but also what they’re going to do there, the biggest club in the world.”
That club, Hakkasan, is responsible for a large chunk of Tiësto’s recent earnings
Some famous Burning Man DJs made the Forbes list, but not the Top 10 like Skrillex:
Swedish House Mafia, which scored $25 million last year in its swan song as a group, are now earning more than they did together in 2013: Steve Angello alone pulled in $12 million, good for No. 12 on this year’s list.
“It’s just grown gigantically because it’s such a great business,” he says of electronic music. “And it’s a great business model because you have all these kids that want to go to all these events, and that’s a great way of making a business stand very fast.”
Angello’s former colleagues Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell are among this year’s near misses. Both of them earned somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million, as did DJ Pauly D, Diplo, Paul Oakenfold, and Daft Punk. The latter came within a disc’s breadth of making the list thanks to album Random Access Memories, and certainly would have made it if they’d played even a handful of live gigs.
Nice work if you can get it.