Live music promoter and EDM giant Insomniac recently announced that they are teaming up with CTM Publishing to create a joint-venture electronic dance music (EDM) publishing company called Music That Never Sleeps.
The Insomniac brand was created in 1992 by its founder and current CEO, Pasquale Rotella. Rotella made his start organizing underground EDM shows in the early ‘90s and has since gone on to organize many festivals, including Insomniac’s staple, the world-famous Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) music festival.
Over the years, Rotella was able to build Insomniac from the ground up, allowing the company to become a widely revered member of the EDM industry. It is the dream of many artists to be invited to play a set at one of Insomniac’s well-executed and well-attended festivals across the globe.
Insomniac made the decision to expand into the world of music production in 2014, forming Insomniac Records, “a dance music record label aimed to give both undiscovered and established producers an opportunity to have their music published.”
This sentiment arose from the success of Insomniac’s Discovery Project. The purpose of the submissions-based platform is to find untapped talent in amateur DJs and producers to streamline into the EDM industry.
More recently, in 2018 Insomniac Records assembled Insomniac Music Group, which includes music brands like Hard Records, Bassrush Records, and NGHTMRE and SLANDER’s Gud Vibrations. The promoter has also dabbled in radio, curating a show called Night Owl Radio, which features interviews with globally renowned EDM artists.
Although early Insomniac events were held in warehouses in Los Angeles, the company’s reach has since expanded as far as South America, the U.K. and Asia through extension festivals of EDC and Dreamstate.
Since COVID-19 has ravaged the United States, its live music industry has taken an unfortunate nosedive. Experts have predicted that it may be well into 2021 before concerts and music festivals start up again, leaving members of the music industry to scramble to find other ways to keep themselves afloat.
Many companies are seeking other means of revenue during this live entertainment drought, and Insomniac is no exception.
This is where CTM Publishing comes in. The music publishing company has separate locations in the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as an office dedicated entirely to Scandinavia. On their company website, CTM boasts that these offices enable them to “have direct contact with local partners and collection societies in those countries.”
Insomniac is known for promoting and producing electronic dance music, and adding publishing into the mix will make the company a fully vertically integrated EDM conglomerate. These three functions are all completely different entities in the music industry, and the ability to do all of them will allow Insomniac to become more independent as an organization.
The difference between the three functions lies in their location on a song or album’s production timeline. Music production is the act of physically creating a song and starts with the individual artist. For Insomniac, music production is represented by Insomniac Records.
Music promotion, Insomniac’s first and primary function, is the marketing and distribution of songs to consumers. There are many different vessels through which an artist can promote their music. This can look like ensuring that an artist’s song secures a spot in a popular playlist on Spotify or booking a venue for the artist’s tour. In Insomniac’s case, music promotion manifests itself in the form of booking music festivals for their clients, usually their own.
What CTM Publishing brings to the table occurs between music production and music promotion. Music publishing is when an artist or record label secures the rights to the music they have produced and will later go on to promote. This ensures that the artist’s music cannot be used unjustly or be presented as someone else’s original work.
The opportunity to collaborate with CTM Publishing not only presents Insomniac with the opportunity to venture into a new branch of the music world, but also allows the promoter to venture into a part of the globe that they have yet to explore.
The EDM community in Europe is both expansive and thriving. The culture of self-acceptance, love and mutual respect has blossomed in Europe’s nightlife. The continent is home to three of the top eight DJ Top 100 Clubs in 2020, two of which are located in Germany.
CTM Publishing’s extensive connections through Scandinavia and Eastern Europe will undoubtedly aid Insomniac’s growth in the European market.
In the wake of COVID-19, Insomniac’s expansion is a winning decision. It seems that while the rest of the world has started on the road to recovery, the United States is still in the thick of the pandemic. As live music venues elsewhere open for booking, Insomniac will now have the chance to plan sets for their artists while other U.S.-based companies are left in the dust.
The future of live music looks hazy for the United States. While Insomniac adapts to the market in order to thrive, their American supporters can only be happy for the company that has given them so much, and hope for the end of this seemingly never-ending pandemic.