The Stalling Mystery of Electronic Dance Music on ESPN

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Stalling Mystery of Electronic Dance Music on ESPN – The Atlantic


Since the early 2010s, electronic dance music (EDM) has enjoyed a surge in popularity in the United States. In 2012, Forbes magazine even dubbed it “the soundtrack of the American youth.” However, despite its growing mainstream appeal, EDM has yet to find a place on ESPN. While other music genres like hip-hop and rock have been featured prominently on the sports network (including during live events), EDM has been largely relegated to background music during commercial breaks.

This is not for lack of trying on ESPN’s part. In 2016, the network launched a dedicated EDM-focused show called “Electronic Nation.” The show was short-lived, however, and was cancelled after just one season. ESPN has also featured EDM artists like Steve Aoki and Marshmello in its “ESPYs After Party” concert series. But again, these have been one-off events rather than a regular programming fixture.

So why has ESPN been unable to make headway with EDM? There are a few possible explanations. For one, the world of sports is still very much male-dominated; and according to Nielsen Music, men are far less likely than women to enjoy listening to EDM (just 24 percent of men compared to 47 percent of women). Additionally, many people who do enjoy EDM also enjoy other genres like hip-hop and rock; and so they may not see the need for a dedicated channel or show devoted exclusively to electronic dance music.

Whatever the reason, it remains to be seen whether or not ESPN will ever be able to crack the code when it comes to integrating EDM into its programming mix.

The History of Electronic Dance Music

Electronic dance music, also known as EDM, has been around for decades, but it has only recently begun to gain mainstream popularity. In the past few years, EDM has exploded in popularity, with festivals and concerts selling out around the world. However, there is one place where EDM has not gained a foothold: ESPN.

The Birth of Electronic Dance Music

Though today we consider electronic dance music (EDM) to be a fairly Recent phenomenon, its origins can actually be traced back to the early 1970s. It was in that decade that the first electronic musical instruments began to appear on the market, and it wasn’t long before innovative musicians started experimenting with ways to create new and exciting sounds with them. This led to the development of a number of different genres of music, including disco, funk, and techno.

However, it wasn’t until the late 1980s that EDM really began to take off. In that decade, advances in computer technology made it possible for musicians to create complex and catchy rhythms and melodies that were perfect for dancing. This new style of music quickly caught on with clubgoers and soon became an international sensation.

In the 1990s, EDM experienced something of a backlash as well-known artists like Nirvana and Moby helped popularize alternative rock and other genres. However, the genre bounced back in the 2000s thanks to a new generation of artists who fuseED traditional EDM sounds with elements of hip-hop, pop, and other genres. As a result, EDM is now more popular than ever before!

The Rise of Electronic Dance Music

The history of electronic dance music is a long and mysterious one, full of twists and turns that have led to its current status as one of the most popular genres in the world. It is a history that is still being written, as new subgenres and styles continue to emerge and evolve.

The origins of electronic dance music can be traced back to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when pioneering DJs and producers began experimenting with synthesizers and other electronic instruments to create new sounding music. These early pioneers include Giorgio Moroder, who produced Donna Summer’s groundbreaking disco hit “I Feel Love”, and Kraftwerk, whose albums Autobahn (1974) and The Man-Machine (1978) laid the groundwork for much of what would follow in the world of electronic music.

As synthesizer technology became more sophisticated and affordable in the 1980s, a new generation of artists began experiment with creating their own sounds. These experiments led to the development of a wide range of new genres, including acid house, techno, drum & bass, and trance.

In the 1990s, electronic dance music finally broke into the mainstream with artists such as The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim ,and Daft Punk scoring major hits with tracks like “Smack My Bitch Up”, “Block Rockin’ Beats”, “Praise You”, and “Around The World”. This commercial success led to a boom in club culture and the rise of superstar DJs such as Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold ,and Pete Tong.

Today, electronic dance music is more popular than ever before, with new subgenres constantly emerging and evolving. It is a genre that continues to surprise us with its ability to evolve and adapt to the changing times.

The Stalling of Electronic Dance Music

In the early 2000s, electronic dance music, or EDM, began appearing on American college campuses. The music was popular among students, and it quickly spread to clubs and festivals across the country. In the years that followed, EDM became one of the most popular genres in the world, with artists like Skrillex and Calvin Harris selling out arenas and stadiums.

However, in recent years, EDM has begun to stall in America. Ticket sales have declined, and some festivals have been cancelled outright. The reasons for this decline are not entirely clear, but there are a few possible explanations.

One reason for the decline of EDM in America may be the genre’s association with drugs. Many electronic dance music festivals take place in remote locations, far from major cities. This makes them prime targets for drug dealers, who sell illegal substances like MDMA to attendees. This association has led to increased scrutiny from law enforcement, and it may be deterring some people from attending EDM events.

Another reason for the decline of EDM may be its lack of innovation. In the early days of the genre, electronic dance music was constantly evolving, with new subgenres and styles emerging all the time. However, in recent years, the genre has become more standardized, and many DJs now play similar sounding sets. This lack of innovation could be leading to fatigue among listeners.

Finally, it’s possible that the decline of EDM is simply a result of changing tastes. Every musical genre goes through ups and downs, and it’s possible that we are simply seeing a natural ebb and flow in popularity. Time will tell if this is truly the case or if electronic dance music is headed for a permanent decline in America.

The Mystery of Electronic Dance Music’s Stalling on ESPN

While Electronic Dance Music has been blowing up for years now, it has yet to make a significant impact on ESPN. While the genre has been featured sporadically on the network, it has not been able to break through in the way that it has on other networks. There are a number of theories as to why this is, let’s explore a few of them.


Theories abound as to why electronic dance music has stalled on ESPN. Some say that the network doesn’t know how to properly market the genre, while others believe that the sport itself isn’t entertaining enough. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that something needs to change if electronic dance music is going to make a comeback on ESPN.

One theory is that ESPN simply doesn’t know how to market the genre. Electronic dance music is a niche market, and it can be difficult to reach potential viewers who might be interested in the sport. Another theory is that the sport itself isn’t entertaining enough. Many people who watch sports do so for the action and excitement, but electronic dance music can often feel slow and repetitive. If ESPN can’t find a way to make the sport more interesting, it’s unlikely that viewers will stick around.

Whatever the reason for electronic dance music’s current stall on ESPN, it’s clear that something needs to change. The genre has a lot of potential, but it isn’t being properly utilized by the network. If ESPN can find a way to fix these issues, there’s no doubt that electronic dance music will make a comeback on the network.

The Reality

The reality is that ESPN is a very mainstream outlet, and electronic dance music is still very much an underground phenomenon in the United States. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that electronic dance music is still largely catering to a niche audience, and that the mainstream American culture has not yet fully embraced it.


In conclusion, electronic dance music has stalled on ESPN. While the genre has a sizable and passionate following, it has failed to gain traction with the network’s mainstream viewers. This is likely due in part to the niche nature of the genre, as well as its lack of crossover appeal with other genres. However, it is also possible that ESPN simply hasn’t found the right approach to showcasing electronic dance music in a way that resonates with its audience.

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