Spinning music at a club can be a fun side gig for young students and professionals, but the best paid DJs have made a career out of entertaining the masses with their remixes and original tracks. Although electronic dance music, or EDM, house, dub, and techno weren’t usually branches of the music industry where you could win big bucks, this landscape has been changing over the past decade. Today, the highest earning electro artists generate an extraordinary income through festival performances, record sales, and brand endorsements.
Just like our favourite rock and pop stars, the DJs on this list are responsible for creating some of the best dance tunes in the world and if you check out our previous list on the best music mashups of 2014, you’ll be sure to find most of these artists involved. So, who are the ultimate electro kings, reigning over the EDM universe? According to Forbes compilation of 2014’s highest earners, these are the best paid DJs.
5. Steve Aoki
Annual Earnings: $23 million
One of the highest earning DJs in the world is also the biggest workaholic. In 2014, Steve Aoki managed to play an astonishing 277 shows, sometimes performing three times in the same day. How is this physically possible? Well, the champion DJ sleeps in two to three hour slots, while travelling to different locations. But furthermore, he cracked the top 5 of our list by additionally receiving endorsements from Bud Light, Guitar Center, and Scion, as well as holding a minority stake in the headphone brand Sol Republic.
Annual Earnings: $28 million
Although the Dutch DJ launched his career in Europe with a residency in the Ibiza club scene, his growing popularity led him to switch environments and increase the number of his annual performances. Today, Tiesto plays over 100 times in a year and his residency in the biggest nightclub in America, Hakkasan – located in Las Vegas – earned him a fortune in 2014. Furthermore, this year is bound to be another spectacular one for Tiesto, as he just won the Grammy for Best Remix.