As Billboard puts it, Calvin Harris is officially “the undisputed King of EDM,” as the news has broken that the DJ tops the list of Forbes’ highest paid DJs. He earned $66 million this past year, which is almost double the second name on the list, David Guetta with $37 million. This is also his second successive time topping this particular list, which this year also includes Tiesto, Skrillex, and Steve Aoki in the top five.
“The list illustrates the enormous pulling power DJs have at the top of the EDM pile,” says Billboard. “The top ten DJs raked in $274 million over the past 12 months, more than double the $116 million total for the top ten in 2012. Though the pace isn’t as fast as it once was. Following a 108% increase from 2012 to 2013, the figure grew 11% from 2013 to 2014, and only 2.5% from 2014 to 2015.”
Part of the reason for the slowdown, according to Forbes, could be that many DJs feel that they need to top their rivals in light shows and visual effects, so what could be a relatively inexpensive operation has turned into devoting 30-40% of the budget towards production fees.