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Monstercat's official logo with wording.
Founded 1 July 2011; 6 years ago (2011-07-01)
  • Mike Darlington, CEO
  • Ari Paunonen, COO
Country of origin Canada
Location Vancouver, British Columbia
Official website
YouTube information
Years active 2011-present
Genre Music
Subscribers 6.4 million
Total views 1.8 billion
Network MonstercatMedia
Subscriber and view counts updated as of 8 October 2017.

Monstercat (previously known as Monstercat Media) is a Canadian independent record label based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The label focuses on electronic dance music and follows a regular triweekly release schedule.[1]


Beginning (2011-2012)[edit]

Monstercat Media was founded in July 2011 by Mike Darlington and Ari Paunonen, two college students out of Waterloo, Ontario. Around the same time, they created the label's YouTube channel, which served as a medium to promote their friends and their music.[2][3] Today, the label signs artists on a single-track basis, allowing them to move between labels and brands without an exclusive contract.[4] Darlington and Paunonen were later responsible for the creation of the label's uniform compilation albums.[2]

The team moved to their current offices in Vancouver in 2012 after Darlington and Paunonen finished school.[5]

Building the label (2013-2014)[edit]

In July 2014, Monstercat surpassed one million record sales across the label.[3] When asked about the label model, Darlington said:

People don’t need record labels anymore. Artists can do everything on their own. So we either had to do it for them better or provide a platform and marketing tool they can’t find on their own. That’s where the community concept came for Monstercat. We created a brand that fans can use to discover music and artists can use as a platform for getting their music out there.[3]

In August 2014, Monstercat published a manifesto calling for reform of copyright law. In it, they described their desire to allow musicians more freedom in sampling other musicians' recordings.[5][6]

Partnerships, on tour and awards (2015-present)[edit]

Since 2015, Monstercat has participated in multiple music festivals. One such festival is the Amsterdam Dance Event, which Billboard describes their 2015 show as "a three-hour mixer outing".[7]

In June 2017, Monstercat announced a partnership with Psyonix to help promote the two year anniversary of Rocket League with the release of Rocket League x Monstercat Vol. 1, an 18-song album from various artists whom had songs signed to Monstercat previously including Slushii, Aero Chord and Vicetone. The album was released on 5 July 2017.[8] Monstercat also announced their own TV channel, Monstercat TV, on the television platform Pluto TV the same month.[9][10]

In July 2017, Monstercat won DJMags 'Best Breakthrough Label', competing against other labels such as Discwoman, Tuskegee Music, Perspectives Digital and Honey Soundsystem.[11]

Notable artists[edit]

In May 2016, Monstercat signed American producer Marshmello's single, Alone. Its music video has amassed over 560 million videos combined across YouTube,[12] including a label record 134 million views on Monstercat's YouTube channel as of October 2017. These views contributed to the artist's $21 million year since the video's release.[12]

The label has supported prominent artists such as Krewella, NERVO, Gareth Emery, Bassnectar and Wolfgang Gartner. Other notable artists include:

  • Varien: One of the seven original Monstercat artists who previously released on the label as Halo Nova for the first two compilations, Varien's releases mostly include dark themes. The artist's last release on the label was the My Prayers Have Become Ghosts EP in October 2016, which EDMTunes describes as "fitting for a dark underground rave in an epic dungeon of a castle."[13]
  • Going Quantum: One of the seven original Monstercat artists, he is currently employed as the head of music at the label. He has sparingly released on the label due to his work, having only released on four of the Monstercat compilations to-date.

Current artists[edit]

Notable albums and singles[edit]

Monstercat compilations[edit]

List of Monstercat compilations
Title Album details
Monstercat 001 - Launch Week
Monstercat 002 - Early Stage
Monstercat 003 - Momentum
Monstercat 5 Year Anniversary
Monstercat 030 – Finale
Monstercat Uncaged Vol. 1
Rocket League x Monstercat Vol. 1
Monstercat Uncaged Vol. 2

Singles on Monstercat[edit]

List of Monstercat singles, with selected chart positions
Title Artist Details Peak chart positions Certifications
CAN[14] PHI[15] US[16] US Dance[17]
Alone Marshmello 56 54 60 9
Faces Candyland & Shoffy
Saving Light Gareth Emery & Standerwick
This Time Kayzo
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that country.

EPs and LPs on Monstercat[edit]

List of EPs and LPs, with selected chart positions
Title Artist EP/LP details Peak chart positions
US Dance[18] US Heatseekers[19]
Two Fold Pt. 1 Haywyre
Pink Cloud EP Pegboard Nerds 9 20
Two Fold Pt. 2 Haywyre 13
Nerds by Nature EP Pegboard Nerds 12
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that country.


  1. ^ "Vancouver-based dance label Monstercat perfects a new business model". Georgia Straight Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly. 18 November 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Line Abrahamian (February 2014). "Mike Darlington: Channeling his inner Monstercat". DJ Magazine Canada. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Monstercat Label Model: From YouTube Channel to One Million Record Sales". Billboard. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Monstercat: A New Breed of Record Label in the Digital Music Age". The DJ List. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "A 21st-century manifesto for electronic label Monstercat". The Globe and Mail. 17 April 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2017. 
  6. ^ "Monstercat Records Wants To Change The Music Industry's Views On Copyright". Huffington Post. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "5 Reasons Amsterdam Dance Event Belongs on Your Bucket List". Billboard. Retrieved 28 September 2017. One came courtesy of Vancouver imprint Monstercat, which took attendees on a three-hour mixer outing to highlight a traditionally low-key Sunday (Oct. 18). 
  8. ^ "How Rocket League became a showcase for new musical talent". PCGamesN. Retrieved 28 September 2017. 
  9. ^ "Monstercat and Pluto TV Launch Platform’s First Electronic Music TV Channel". Streaming Media Magazine. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  10. ^ Clancy, Michelle. "Monstercat, Pluto TV team on electronic music channel". Rapid TV News. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  11. ^ "BEST BREAKTHROUGH LABEL: MONSTERCAT". 4 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Robehmed, Natalie. "Inside Masked Newcomer Marshmello's $21 Million Year". Forbes. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  13. ^ "Varien - My Prayers Have Become Ghosts EP - EDMTunes". EDMTunes. 2016-11-08. Retrieved 2017-10-06. 
  14. ^ Alone only: "Marshmello - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  15. ^ Alone only: "BillboardPH Hot 100". Billboard Philippines. 11 September 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017. 
  16. ^ Alone only: "Marshmello - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  17. ^ Alone only: "Marshmello - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 25 September 2017. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Pink Cloud only: "Heatseekers Albums: Up and Coming Musicians Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 24 May 2016. 

External links[edit]