All eyes are on Scandinavia this year to see how streaming music services like Spotify are affecting overall recorded-music revenues, after Sweden and Norway showed strong growth in 2012.
Earlier this month, Norway showed startling 17% growth year-on-year for the first half of 2013, with streaming now accounting for 66% of all recorded-music revenues there. This, on top of 7% year-on-year growth for 2012 as a whole. Now it’s Sweden’s turn for some updated figures.
Swedish music industry body GLF has announced its first-half numbers today. Total recorded-music revenues are up 12% year-on-year to SEK 499.4m (around $76.4m).
Digital accounted for 75% of those revenues, and streaming now accounts for 94% of that digital income. Physical sales fell by 24% in the first half of 2013 (although vinyl was up 50% as part of that) and downloads were down 20%.
Or, in summary: streaming music HAS cannibalised downloads in Sweden, but grown the overall pie again, although the growth in the first half of 2013 is slightly down on 2012 as a whole, when recorded-music revenues rose by 13.8%.
In that year, digital was 63% of all revenues, with streaming accounting for 90% of digital income, as a comparison.
“The strong growth seen in 2012 is continuing in 2013, and the fact that Swedish consumers
prefer streaming is clearer than ever. Overall, these are very positive figures and show that
the music industry is more prosperous than for several years,” says Ludvig Werner, CEO of IFPI Sweden, in a statement.
What we’d like to see now is some Swedish artists talking about what this market shift has meant to them – including newer artists as well as bigger names.
The last week’s debate, sparked by Atoms for Peace pulling their albums from streaming music services, has been over whether established acts benefit more from the switch to streaming than emerging artists. Swedish indie musicians, if you’re reading, share your experiences in the comments!