Electronica is an umbrella term that encompasses a broad group of electronic-based styles such as techno, house, ambient, drum and bass, jungle, and industrial dance, among others. It has been used to describe the rise of electronic music styles intended not just for dancing but also concentrated listening.
In North America, in the late 1990s, the mainstream music industry adopted and to some extent manufactured electronica as an umbrella term encompassing styles such as techno, big beat, drum and bass, trip hop, downtempo, and ambient, regardless of whether it was curated by indie labels catering to the "underground" nightclub and rave scenes, or licensed by major labels and marketed to mainstream audiences as a commercially viable alternative to alternative rock music. By the late 2000s, however, the industry abandoned electronica in favor of electronic dance music (EDM), a term with roots in academia and an increasing association with outdoor music festivals and relatively mainstream, post-rave electro house and dubstep music. Nevertheless, the U.S.-based AllMusic still categorizes electronica as a top-level genre, stating that it includes danceable grooves, as well as music for headphones and chillout areas.
In other parts of the world, especially in the UK, electronica is also a broad term, but is associated with non-dance-oriented music, including relatively experimental styles of downtempo electronic music. It partly overlaps what is known chiefly outside the UK as intelligent dance music (IDM).