The medium is the message… dance music’s biggest Instagram celebrities

Sankt-Petersburg, Russia, March 6, 2018: Instagram application icon on Apple iPhoneX smartphone screen close-up. Instagram app icon. Social media icon. Social network

Founded in 2010, and owned by Facebook, Instagram surpassed one billion active users last year, with some 4.2 billion ‘likes’ generated every day – underlining its status as a powerful medium.

Within the dance music industry, Instagram’s focus on the visual has enabled artists to engage with their audience outside of the traditional nightclub/festival arena, and cultivate a persona that reflects their everyday lives.

Wondering what Sven Väth is getting up to on his holidays, what Fatboy Slim had for breakfast, or what Steve Aoki got for Christmas? All too often, Instagram has the answer.

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Double the presents double the fun 🎁🎁🎁

A post shared by Steve Aoki (@steveaoki) on

Ok, we are TRULY SORRY about that last one… 🙂

Following on from last week’s analysis of the DJs that clocked up the most air miles last year, 909originals has again teamed up with web developer Elliot Matthews (check out his Trippy Visions and websites for more information) to examine what artists have the biggest presence on Instagram, and which artists use it as an engagement platform.

As with last week’s data, the DJs and artists featured below are those that boast a page on the Resident Advisor website, and the data is correct as of 1 January 2019.

As the data below shows, Skrillex is a clear leader in terms of Instagram followers (8.64 million), however emerging South African house DJ Black Coffee, is a perhaps unexpected second, with 1.76 million followers.

Also riding high on the list are some of the industry’s biggest names, with Skepta (1.7 million) and Carl Cox (1.07 million) topping the million-followers list, and Russian techno queen Nina Kraviz not far off that milestone (987,652).

In terms of Instagram engagement (how often an artist engages with posts on his or her page), however, the table is turned upside down somewhat, with Sweden’s SPFDJ the most engaging (on 14.63% of posts!), followed by Kansas City’s Huerco S (11.62%) and Kobosil (11.29%). Interestingly, ranking high on both lists is Amelie Lens, who engages quite consistently (9.33%) with her more than 572,000 followers.

The data also showed the average ‘likes’ that an artist gets on a typical Instagram post, with Skrillex again way in front of the competition (248,585), followed by Skepta (59,513), Amelie Lens (52,774) and Belgian compatriot Charlotte de Witte (33,416).

In terms of the average number of comments on a typical post, however, Skrillex is interestingly nowhere to be seen, with Skepta (978), Eric Prydz (841) and Tale of Us (657) garnering sizeable interest from users.

As to what this tells us about big name DJs’ interactions with Instagram is unclear, but that’s not going to stop us from clicking on that familiar pink logo and following our favourite artists’ every move.

Just five more minutes, honest…

[Thanks to Elliot Matthews for compiling the data, visit for more information.]

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