"This is the first time we've worked this deeply with a music company," said Josh Black, CEO of Asia-Pacific for GroupM Content. "Normally, we would just represent sponsorship rights, but this time we're representing broadcast rights as well as working on merchandising and licencing."
While GroupM's logo probably won't be on any of the merchandise, Black said it wouldn't be out of the question for one of the group's content businesses to be "a little more front and centre in due course".
"I think that our mission with content in Asia is really to bring the best content into the market, and if that means we need to we will take a deeper role in how it’s produced and commercialised," Black said.
The benefit of GroupM's involvement in the event for Dancestar Ventures is the network's access to data and consumer insights as well as access to a list of potentially interested clients.
The first project of this partnership is Dancestar Asia, which will be held in Singapore this December. Dancestar Asia will be a two-hour award ceremony recognising 21 categories including Best DJ and Best Event through to Best Remix and Best Social Media Campaign.
Winners for the 21 categories will be decided by public voting via several major social media channels across the region that will be announced shortly. Dancestar Asia will also feature 12 live performance collaborations from global artists.
This will be the first time Dancestar has been held in over a decade. It was last staged in Miami in 2004 and was credited as the largest televised EDM event in history with the broadcast reaching 54 countries. The six previous Dancestar events were produced for Television by 5th and Ocean Productions.
Both GroupM and Dancestar aim to develop the awards show into a "a series of market specific televised events in Las Vegas, London and Singapore," explained Andy Ruffell, founder and CEO of Dancestar. "GroupM provides unrivalled expertise that will enable us to bring electronic music culture and global brands together on TV”.
According to Ruffell, EDM is now a $4 billion global industry with DJs earning $20 million to $40 million a year.
Down the line, the partnership is also looking to build up EDM from a media standpoint, added Black. "While EDM has many on-the-ground events, it hasn't yet cracked the formula to bring it to mass audiences through broadcast. It just hasn't been done very well yet and we're working with Dancestar on achieving that."