The 10 Highest Paid DJ’s In The World

Forbes has published their take on the world’s highest paid DJs, and Tiësto came out on top, followed by Skrillex & Swedish House Mafia.

They note:

Though these Electronic Cash Kings hail from all over the globe, they’ve got at least one thing in common: they all make the bulk of their money by touring.

Often toting nothing more than a USB stick and a pair of Pioneer CDJs, their production costs are often negligible, unlike rockers and pop stars who typically take home just one-third of gross ticket sales.

Here’s the full list:

The 10 Highest-Paid DJs In 2012

  1. Tiësto – $22m (£14m)
  2. Skrillex – $15m (£9.7m)
  3. Swedish House Mafia – $14m (£9m)
  4. David Guetta – $13.5m (£8.7m)
  5. Steve Aoki – $12m (£7.7m)
  6. Deadmau5 – $11.5m (£7.4m)
  7. DJ Pauly D – $11m (£7.1m)
  8. Kaskade – $10m (£6.5m)
  9. Afrojack – $9m (£5.8m)
  10. Avicii – $7m (£4.5m)

Let us know what you think about the artists that made the 10 highest paid DJ list – and who you think should have made the list!

via Forbes

24 thoughts on “The 10 Highest Paid DJ’s In The World

  1. Oh no, not again

    I swear synthhead wants to make us cringe by posting photos of ‘Tiesticles’

    Five of them djs are no names- how they get in top ten?

    1. What a silly question. Do you really think any of these guys are making more than a few thousand bucks out of record sales? WHen was the last time someone bought a trance CD lol.

  2. In Denver , one club had van burrito playing one nite. Usual door tax is $10 but they were forced to raise it to $40 due to van burrito charging $100 000 MINUS his expenses for the set

    Club had 1200 capacity and only took 500 in that nite as many were outraged

    So, tell me- these djs who actually mime their Dj sets, who exactly votes them as number one Dj, and who are the gullible people who believe them to be superstars?

    NO DJ is worth superstar status

    Can Tiesto or anyone like him perform their music live? NO

    All they do is press play and mess with knobs once a while whilst grinning sarcastically at the people who give them more money a day than most make in a year for actually working

    Lol, what a shambles

  3. I have been defending electronic music in other websites in which people don’t know about synthesis and/or the amount of effort that it takes for these music producers to have a signature sound, example, Deadmau5 bass line (Modular Synths), Skrillex complextors (mostly IN Massive), Tiestos raising epic leads (Access Virus), and actually make a profit, live of it and be successful, I understand if a drummer or a guitar player feel intimidate about this new sounds and jealous of this genre success but I can’t understand why there is such a critic to these artists coming from members of a website that specializes on synthesis in stead of feeling proud of their success since Emerson, Lake and Palmer made a hit record with a modular synth.

    1. I don’t think there are anyone complaining about the actual music they make, it is rather DJing in general. Pressing play and playing other peoples music isn’t really that special. Making music is a different thing though

      1. A lot of people dismiss these guys out of jealously or ignorance, but they are successful because they’re excellent producers and work hard at what they do, not because they ‘press play’.

        When people complain about successful DJs and EDM artists, all I can think about is all the electronic music tracks that people post on SoundCloud and YouTube that sound like comlpete crap.

        Then they go around, begging people to listen to their terrible music – instead of actually getting out there, performing, building their skills and learning what people actually like.

  4. Pauly D WTF?! That is the one that should fuck most people off. You can say what you want about DJing but reality star turned DJ is everything that is wrong with popular culture.

    1. Yeah, I can’t imagine what I’ve been thinking. I’ll have to give up piano and synths right away. All I need is a pair of scratchable playing surfaces and at least a 32% grasp of Live. Aw, what snark, eh? Actually, I have heard a few of these guys cook. They DO deliver a hoppin’ show, due respect for serving an appreciative audience. Its just too lacking in content for me. I’ve gotten spoiled by seeing musicians wrestle The Beast live and pull it off. Sometimes its been even richer and funnier when there *were* a few human errors. A recent pleasure was seeing a video of Deep Forest in concert. There was loopage, great live work on top of it and some sweet singers. Breath o’ fresh air.

  5. DJ Pauly D shouldn’t even be on that list or even talked about in any shape or form when it comes to djing. That dude sucks Afghan goat nuts when it comes to djing. His youtube videos just show how much he sucks. He just needs to stop djing and stick to that Jersey Shore drama crap he came from. All the other people on this list dosen’t bother me. It’s just that one turd.

  6. okay opinions opinions. great. but we all agree that pauly d is a shitter and shouldnt be anywhere near that list. say what you want about the others. you know what. fuck those jerks forcing their opinions on others acting like they’re facts.

  7. I love DJs for the simple reason that I probably would have never found out about a particular track that I love if it weren’t for listening to that DJ at that particular time or place, be it a club, or mix tape/CD/ect. Even if it’s an old/new familiar pop tune that you already own yourself, for some reason it’s much more enjoyable and exciting when that song unexpectedly comes on, like when your driving and listening to the radio station DJ. It’s feels more magical than when you anticipate hearing the same song by pressing play yourself. The DJ’s own objective choice of play list is also key. It’s when these DJs start trying their hand at production/song writing that seems to turn people off since there’s been only a few success stories. I don’t like to discourage people at trying anything, but as some constructive feedback perhaps said DJs might benefit from releasing under a different alibi to avoid loosing fans. And on the other side of the coin, if someone is an electronic musician first, and gain success at it, I don’t hold it against them for simply DJing their own material when they start touring. It seems they need to do it more out of technical necessity. Of course there are exceptions. Also as advances in music technology allows for electronic musicians to set the stage for better improvising, at the same time the technology is allowing the studio musician to take sounds and mixes to a different level. So while the naysayers of preprogrammed material think that their team has just scored some points with a blossoming improv act; behind closed doors somewhere a producer/composer just realized that using a particular tool in an unconventional/innovative way can yield some interesting results. This debate has been going on since classical composers and fiddle players have been around. As for the absurd amount of money they are making? It’s welcoming news because that tells me it’s anyone’s game and you don’t have to be born into it.

  8. Yes mime DJ’s are hilarious, I used to be a club DJ and got sick of teaching wannabe’s how to mix and scratch. I used to find DJing in a club extremely boring anyway. A lot of the music these people produce isnt that good either , some is great though.

    I can make a perfect harmonically mixed 75 minute CD in about 5 – 10 minutes from start to finish without even bothering to listen to it thats as good as anything else you will hear or buy, its that easy these days.

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