Swedish recorded music sales rose 13.8% in 2012


A week after the Norwegian music industry revealed a 7% sales rise for 2012 thanks to streaming, figures have emerged showing even bigger growth in Sweden.

Stats released by Swedish industry body GLF and published by Music Week show that total recorded music sales jumped 13.8% in 2012 to SEK 943m (around $145m), with digital accounting for 63% of that total compared to 51% in 2011.

Even more startlingly, though, 90% of that digital income came from streaming services, up from 82% in 2011. Digital streaming revenues were SEK 542m ($83.5m) in 2012, up 55.4% year-on-year.

So yes, streaming IS cannibalising download sales in Sweden – the latter were down 24.7% to SEK 57m ($8.8m) in 2012 – but the overall pie is growing.

“It’s very pleasing to see that 2012 was the best year for music sales since 2005. This is a clear sign that more consumers are paying for their music consumption than for some time,” says IFPI Sweden CEO Ludvig Werner in a statement.

“We hope that a recovering market for music will encourage artists and music companies to release more music and that in turn our entrepreneurs will create even more and better services for music consumption.”

Sweden was the first country to indicate that streaming services like Spotify can reverse the overall decline in music sales, with figures published in July last year. Physical sales are falling in Sweden as they are elsewhere – CD album sales were down 14.8% to SEK 328m ($50.5m) in 2012 – but digital growth is outstripping that decline.

Scandinavian streaming success, then. The big question now is whether these patterns can be repeated elsewhere in the world.

Stuart Dredge

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