This time last year, Norway and Sweden were being touted as the bright future for the music industry, on the back of two years of rising recorded-music revenues fuelled by streaming. In 2015… not so much. Norwegian revenues fell in 2014, and now Sweden has also reported a year-on-year decline: down 0.4% to SEK 987.1m ($119.1m) last year.
And just like Norway, the main cause is a sharper decline in physical sales, which dropped 33.8% last year to SEK 152m. So, despite a 10.8% rise in streaming income to SEK 787.1m – 79.2% of the overall market – AND a 3.2% rise in admittedly-small downloads revenues, Swedish income dipped overall. It’s a reminder that even in the most streaming-centric markets, an acceleration in the decline of CD sales can still make waves in the overall picture. It’s also likely to spark more debate about how much more streaming growth there is to be found in Spotify’s homeland, where streaming has been truly mainstream for a while now.