Streamin’ Sweden

While Sweden claim’s trees amongst its big money makers, wood pulp isn’t the only industry moving the needle, if you will. Additionally, with telecommunications and home goods accounting for growth in Sweden, the Scandinavian market overall has also been quite hospitable of late towards streaming music. (Sweden is, after all, home to Spotify). This past year saw a 6% sales increase overall in terms of money spent on recorded music in general, clocking in at $126m.

IFPI Sweden CEO Ludvig Werner said in a statement: “We have become accustomed to streaming services creating a much-awaited growth in the market in recent years, but it’s important not to forget how positive it is that in 2016 alone, it grew by around six percent.”  Werner went on to comment regarding the nuances of the digital landscape.

“With ten years’ experience of streaming and the new economic possibilities it creates, we know how important it is for all of the food chain – composers to artists and record companies – that all music services are covered by the same regulations. For one service to negotiate with rights owners and pay 60-70 percent of revenues, while another service doesn’t need to negotiate and pays 8-10 percent, is clearly not sustainable.”  We’ll let the lawyers duke that one out, but for now, at least things are on an upswing.

Nonprofit IFPI prides itself on being “the voice of the recording industry worldwide”, representing the interests of 1,300 record companies from across the globe. Their just published Global Report finds digital revenues surpassing physical for the first time, thanks to streaming. Speaking with Billboard, IFPI chief executive Frances Moore said that the industry’s upturn “hadn’t happened by chance…As an industry we’ve had years of investment and innovation to make it happen and we’re starting to see the shift now: from adapting to the digital age to actually driving the digital age.”

Alongside this increase, CD sales took a not 9% hit, tandem style. But not so fast, OG media naysayers…vinyl accounted for twice the cash of downloads, at a cool 5mil.

The Swedish portion of the musical pie?  28%.  International artists make up that 72%.

A decade into streaming, Sweden clearly has found its sea legs. (No small thing considering streaming revenue represents over 80% of total cash spent on music.)

It’s worth noting that Spotify’s cofounder Daniel Ek was just named one of Time magazine’s “Titans” — named for “the huge impact that his company is having on the global music industry – with or without an IPO.”

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