Halvaarstal ny2Denmark is making its play as one of the world’s most digital nations for music, with physical sales accounting for just 18% of the country’s music revenues in the first half of 2014 according to figures released yesterday by the IFPI.

Downloads took a 19% share, but it’s streaming that’s now driving the Danish market, accounting for 63% of revenues in the first six months of this year. By contrast, in 2013 downloads had a 29% market share, while streaming had 45%.

It’s the pace of change that’s interesting here, even if it’s not unusual for the early-adopting Scandinavian market. Download sales have fallen 33% year-on-year, more than the 31% decline in physical sales.

“If we look two years back, streaming was just 24% of the market, but now it is up to 63%,” said IFPI’s national group director in Denmark Jakob Plesner Mathiasen. “It says everything about how crucial adaptability and a focus on the needs of consumers is for our industry.”

We’ll have to wait for actual sales figures, although the IFPI says that total revenues in Denmark have risen 2% year-on-year – with streaming up 44% as part of that. It’s a pattern we’ve seen before in Sweden and Norway, where streaming’s rise has pulled the overall markets back into growth.

The Netherlands has seen a similar trend – one of the first markets outside Scandinavia to do so. While sceptics still wonder when (or whether) we’ll see such a trend in the biggest music markets like the US, UK and Germany, the outlook in Scandinavia remains positive.