Streaming Now Accounts for 70.3% of All Music Sold In Sweden…

The population of Sweden is about the same as New Jersey.  Which raises the question: is this just something happening over there, or a genuine precursor to global format shifts?

swedishsalesbreakdownh12013

Either way, the Swedish petri dish has spawned a remarkable streaming culture.  According to half-year stats just released by IFPI Sweden and the Swedish Recording Industry Association (GLF), streaming now accounts for 70.3 percent of all recording sales in the country, with downloads a mere afterthought.

sweden20032013

More importantly, streaming is officially reversing a downward trend initially caused by file-swapping and torrenting.  According to the stats, Swedish sales are up 12 percent over 2012 to 499.4 million SEK ($77.1 million), itself an improving period.  Suddenly, the free-fall is not only bottoming, but showing significant signs of recovery.

On the margins, downloads carried about 6 percent of the digital total, while physical formats (mostly CDs) plunged 24 percent during the period.  Overall, physical formats account for roughly 25 percent of all recorded music sales in the region.

55 Responses

  1. Visitor

    It’s official ! Downloads are dead in Sweden and doomed everywhere.

    Reply
    • Visitor

      “doomed everywhere”

      🙂 In your dreams.

      Let me repeat what’s gonna happen in the real world:

      1) Streaming will grow like never before over the next 3 years. We’re talking 200-500%, or more.

      2) In the meantime, mainstream piracy will die because of the unprecedented measures that are being introduced all over the world as we speak. It’ll happen almost unnoticed because consumers can stream what they want for free.

      3) A growing number of artists will quietly remove their work from the streaming services as they see their titles disappear from lockers and torrent sites. This number will slowly increase over the next 2-3 years to reach a critical mass and explode when the commercial Piracy Industry is choked to death.

      4) Meanwhile, consumers slowly start to notice the Spotify holdouts and pullouts. It won’t have any consequences at first as consumers just return to the torrent sites. But the illegal supply is rapidly diminishing, and in some cases it becomes impossible to find the new songs.

      5) Enter iTunes. Music sites begin to report substantial iTunes and Amazon sales for Spotify pullouts. This is the turning point. Artists ditch Spotify faster than they ditched MySpace.

      Reply
      • Visitor

        Perhaps I should add that rightholders — and no one else — obviously decide when streaming is going to die.

        Always remember this:

        Spotify will sink like a stone without artists!

        Not tomorrow, not next month. Now.

        This will be self evident to most of you, but a few guys still seem to believe that consumers somehow would be able to keep it alive…

        Reply
        • PiratesWinLOL

          GrooveShark, YouTube, Soundcloud, etc.

          Now, we can do this the easy or the hard way…

          Reply
        • Visitor

          Oh, and if one or two musicians still think Spotify might be useful, I suggest they take a close look at the dream house a DigitalMusicNews reader was able to buy for his streaming revenues:

          https://www.dropbox.com/s/u64bgdyr4b3otnd/First-House_July-2013.jpeg

          You can find his emotional thank-you note to Spotify here:

          http://dmnrocks.wpengine.com/permalink/2013/20130722djhome

          Here’s the bottom line:

          Do you prefer $.005 per stream or $.70 per iTunes sale?

          You decide!

          Reply
          • Andy

            This is a really good question.

            I’ve been keeping track of our sales data for a few years now.

            If we look at our sales on bandcamp, our stream-to-sale conversion rate is 0.8%. That means we sell something (CD, download, vinyl) for every 125 streams of our music. The average sale price is 7 euros.

            So let’s compare that to Spotify.

            Every 125 streams, you get paid roughly €0.63, ten times less than our average sale.

            I think everyone knows that the per stream rates with Spotify are based on an average per stream rate. Premium pays more than the free version. I’ve seen rates as low as €0.0002/stream (free version) and rates as high as €0.012/stream (premium version).

            So let’s look at what the payouts would be like if 100% of their users were paying for premium.

            125 streams would bring in 1.5 euros. Still not as high as our average sale of 7 euros, but it’s not too far off, especially if you factor in overheads for physical sales.

            And the advantage of Spotify is that it can scale a lot more easily than we could with physical sales like CDs, t-shirts and vinyl.

          • Visitor

            “Premium pays more than the free version. I’ve seen rates as low as €0.0002/stream (free version) and rates as high as €0.012/stream (premium version).

            So let’s look at what the payouts would be like if 100% of their users were paying for premium.”

            Show me a market where 100% of Spotify’s users pay for premium.

            Yes, Spotify would work…

            * IF people paid for premium. But they don’t.

            * IF it didn’t cannibalize sales. But it does.

            * IF it were 10 times bigger. But it isn’t.

            * IF the long tail worked. But it doesn’t, it was a fairy tale.

          • GGG

            People pay for Netflix, why not music streaming?

            Nobody has yet to show actual numbers (outside Sweden, but it also shows sales being UP!). I’m not denying there’s some cannibalizing going on, but we have no idea how minimal or substantial it is. Wonder why nobody has released some inarguable data….? Top singles of 2012 sold more than top singles of pre-Spotify. Other hit singles hover around the same avg 00s numbers.

            It can be, pretty easily too just by launcing in a few other countries, not even promoting it any more.

          • Visitor
            Visitor

            “People pay for Netflix, why not music streaming?”

            Most consumers know in advance they’re going to watch a certain number of movies in a certain amount of time. That’s how they relax after work.

            They don’t plan to listen to a certain amount of music over the next month in the same way — unless they’re freaks like most of us.

            Music is just different from movies. It’s candy. Somebody sends you a YouTube link and suddenly you’re turned on.

          • GGG
            GGG

            I don’t disagree with this. Not sure I totally agree people know how much they’ll watch Netflix in a given week/month. I certainly vary. But I get the general point.

            But anyway, having said that, my theory is that streaming behavior would change dramatically the more it was used. For example, I think the growth of piracy happened because of two reasons, from a behavioral standpoint. First, people just didn’t want to pay for X number of albums that they wanted. Then, they realized that so much stuff was on there, they pirated more simply because it was possible to.

            So your average person, pirate or not, that listens to music x amount of hours a week and spends very little money on music, could certainly stream much more simply because it’s there. YouTube’s music growth shows that people love on-demand and still don’t buy music. Plus, Spotify mobile (if they fixed their shitty search a bit more) makes it easier to stream via phone than going through youtube.

          • Andy

            This is a really good question.

            I’ve been keeping track of our sales data for a few years now.

            If we look at our sales on bandcamp, our stream-to-sale conversion rate is 0.8%. That means we sell something (CD, download, vinyl) for every 125 streams of our music. The average sale price is 7 euros.

            So let’s compare that to Spotify.

            Every 125 streams, you get paid roughly €0.63, ten times less than our average sale.

            I think everyone knows that the per stream rates with Spotify are based on an average per stream rate. Premium pays more than the free version. I’ve seen rates as low as €0.0002/stream (free version) and rates as high as €0.012/stream (premium version).

            So let’s look at what the payouts would be like if 100% of their users were paying for premium.

            125 streams would bring in 1.5 euros. Still not as high as our average sale of 7 euros, but it’s not too far off, especially if you factor in overheads for physical sales.

            And the advantage of Spotify is that it can scale a lot more easily than we could with physical sales like CDs, t-shirts and vinyl.

  2. PiratesWinLOL

    🙂 In your dreams.

    You can’t answer the question about just HOW you want to stop file-sharing through anonymous networks, so this is just a silly dream. It isn’t more valid than Yves ridicules claim that he stopped his music being shared, by recording songs about child abuse… For now you can’t even stop what shoudl be the very, very easy targets of Pirate Bay and GrooveShark. Pirate Bay even celebated their 10th anniversery recently.

    Fact is that consumers don’t want the horrible obsolete way that itunes distribute music. The music industry can adapt to that fact the easy or the hard way. This time they have obviously learned something and choosen the easy way.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      Damn, I tried to read your post but was distracted by that silly pen name.

      Why don’t you find another? Nobody cares what a thief thinks.

      Just a suggestion…

      Reply
      • PiratesWinLOL
        PiratesWinLOL

        Obviously you can’t answer, because you don’t know what to say and know that nothing can be done. Being an utter failure and having lost the debate, you have to resort to pathetic excuses for not answering.

        Anyway, nobody care what a deluded dreamer thinks.

        Reply
    • Yves Villeneuve
      Yves Villeneuve

      Prove me wrong. I doubt you will try. Offer my song “Capture the Wolf” as a torrent on The Pirate Bay and we’ll see if unbroken download links appear in the search results for at least 7 days… Make it a good test.

      Any skeptic can find various ways to discredit my claims. The question is, are they courageous enough to seek the evidence they need to discredit Yves Villeneuve. The dare is on.

      Reply
      • PiratesWinLOL
        PiratesWinLOL

        So now you are actually asking for your music to be shared on Pirate Bay? Well, I guess it prove my point, which is that the only thing worse then being exploited by spotify or pirates, is not to be exploited at all…

        As for your wierd claims about child-abuse, you are either batshit crazy or simply trolling. You can get rid of these illusions by uploading the file to TPB yourself, and discover that all that happends is that zero people share it.

        Reply
        • Yves Villeneuve
          Yves Villeneuve

          No, I am asking you to accept my dare like a real man, not like a coward. I am confident you will not succeed in your mission, as you accept this specific dare.

          I also suspect you may have already accepted my dare but failed to achieve the desired results, therefore are trying to save face with your latest cowardly comment.

          I believe piracy is stealing and is bad human behaviour therefore do not accept it in human society, especially when my music and livelihood are involved.

          Reply
  3. Yves Villeneuve

    For the skeptics, here are additional hints to help you discredit Yves Villeneuve:

    * Facebook Page Likes are severely under-reported. Spotify which has a strong connection to Facebook is doing everything in its power to slow down my popularity and further acceleration of iTunes download sales. They can’t stop increases in popularity but they can slow it down with some success.

    * Except for the track “The Inner Self”, filled popularity bars likely only to show here in select countries, as to open the pathways of curiosity.

    * Ratings and reviews are unlikely to be published unless to generate reaction from those who disagree with them.

    If you can’t find a way to discredit after given all these claims then you need to practice refining your creativity.

    Reply
    • Yves Villeneuve
      Yves Villeneuve

      * For the track “The Inner Self”, filled popularity bars likely only to show here in select countries, as to open the pathways of curiosity.

      Reply
    • Yves Villeneuve
      Yves Villeneuve

      What I mean to say is, don’t expect filled popularity bars except for the track “The Inner Self”, as to open the pathways of curiosity in select countries.

      Reply
    • GGG
      GGG

      Ho.ly.shit.

      It’s happened folks. Yves has officially gone from that weird guy on DMN to tinfoil hat wearing certified nutjob.

      You think Spotify and Facebook and iTunes popularity bars are conspiring against you? Jesus Christ.

      Just accept that your music is terrible. Use your failure to practice and get better and you’ll write better stuff. Maybe. You may just be a lost cause.

      Reply
      • Yves Villeneuve
        Yves Villeneuve

        Take the dare. Likely did but disappointed with the results. Now trying to reduce credibility via nonesense. You talk a big game but never anything concrete. Besides being paranoid, you are simply trolling to save your ego.

        Reply
        • GGG
          GGG

          I’m the paranoid one? You legitimately think iTunes, Spotify, and facebook care enough about your shitty music that they have conspired to downplay this mysterious “success” you have, for what reason? How can you possibly call anyone else paranoid?

          You show facts then. Post your record sales, with proof. People give you figures all the time and you call bullshit. Let’s see your Rhapsody playcount and stream numbers. Let’s see your album sales. Don’t be a coward.

          Or wait, lemme guess, they don’t show up because all your fans mail you cash because they respect you so much? So your online sales will look like 10 people bought your record but really it’s thousands!

          On the edge of my seat for you conspiracy bullshit excuse as to why you’ll puss out…

          Reply
          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            Sounds very much like you are dodging a simple dare… But is this what’s really going on.

            As I said before I don’t want others focused on my sales data when making purchase decisions. This tends to increase catalog sales over the long term as there isn’t favouritism due to sales comparisons.

            Again, I expect you to take the cowardly path and not end this right here, right now by taking the challenge in seeking easy evidence to discredit me. But then, you are persistent in publicly avoiding the dare because you already have taken it with disappointing results, but not saying to anyone. Your only ammo is to continue openly and cowardly avoiding a simple dare and express more nonesense to discredit a legitimate participant in the music industry.

            I am done with this conversation with you until you take the challenge, otherwise you are just wasting mine and everybody else’s time.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Email me your song, then. Because I’m not going to buy it first. I will gladly put it up on PirateBay if you send me a link to download it. If you say yes, I will set up a 10 minute email address to receive it.

          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            You’re not getting a free song. I sell music for a living. So don’t go there.

            If you can’t afford or won’t spend 99 cents to discredit me then drop out of the conversation or spend more effort discrediting my Facebook claim.

            You seem willing to go the extra mile to discredit, so spend 99 cents to do it… You can kill 3 birds (dares) with one stone unless you’re paranoid one song sale will lead to more album sales than Michael Jackson’s Thriller album. It may be the best investment you will ever make, unless of course you believe it won’t meet your goals.

            Consider your song purchase a throwaway gun. You can even anonymously write a bad review of your song purchase.

            If you are that desperate, you can offer a dummy audio file as a torrent on The Pirate Bay with pertinent artist and song title and file size information for 7 days, with audio stating the song is about child abuse, including sexual abuse of a child and is available on iTunes and elsewhere. Make sure paedophiles fear the contents of the audio file to make it a good test. When I search Yves Villeneuve, unbroken download links had better appear for this audio file.

          • GGG
            GGG

            Sorry, I’d rather stab myself in the eye than give you a penny. You are the epitome of a HUGE issue with music culture right now. Too many people like you who think your lack of success is everyone’s fault but your own.

            Pathetic. You are a laughing stock. Deal with it.

          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            Sounds very much like you are dodging a simple dare… But is this what’s really going on.

            As I said before I don’t want others focused on my sales data when making purchase decisions. This tends to increase catalog sales over the long term as there isn’t favouritism due to sales comparisons.

            Again, I expect you to take the cowardly path and not end this right here, right now by taking the challenge in seeking easy evidence to discredit me. But then, you are persistent in publicly avoiding the dare because you already have taken it with disappointing results, but not saying to anyone. Your only ammo is to continue openly and cowardly avoiding a simple dare and express more nonesense to discredit a legitimate participant in the music industry.

            I am done with this conversation with you until you take the challenge, otherwise you are just wasting mine and everybody else’s time.

  4. Tune Hunter

    I agree with you!

    Both Sweden and Norway are at total nirvana state of streaming – no room for much more – and both are retarded to slightly more than half of 1999.

    Reply
  5. Visitor

    meanwhile in Slovenia, streamin now accounts for exactly 0% of music related revenues.

    No Spotify here, only Deezer trying to do something, but less than 1% of potential users even notice it.

    As long as there is no pan-European deal for streaming services, you can calculate as much as you like for each separate country, unpaid streaming is killing the prescription streaming services along with the digital and phisical sales.

    Reply
  6. Visitor

    So, music sales are actualy UP with a 70% streaming share ?

    That seems to go against all the anti-streaming preaching we got on this website.

    Anyaway, sales up or not, streaming is not going to go away anytime soon. Lostener won’t go back to an old model. Listeners don’t read DMN and its lobbying. People here should start to think how to take advantage of the situation rather than doing their daily streaming bashing.

    Reply
    • Steve

      Doesn’t matter if overall revenue is going up by 12%, this is bad for the artists because of low royalties from streaming.

      Streaming = low royalties = bad

      Streaming revenue increasing = bad

      Artists will benefit more if streaming in Sweden die off.

      Reply
      • Visitor
        Visitor

        No. Artists will benefit more if they have better rates negociations with their labels. Or if they self or co release. It’s not a streaming probelm, it’s an artist – label relationship problem. Again, hoping for streaming to go away is as dumb as hoping piracy will go away back in the old Napster days.

        Reply
  7. Yves Villeneuve

    Probably 90% of those subscribers aren’t active. If Spotify is offered in a mobile bundle in Sweden, chances are a lot of these consumers were conned into subscribing to a so-called free Premium subscription they will never use.

    More spin by industry talking heads and music nerds to get the average consumer to pay more money for music, directly or indirectly. Whatever happened to the axiom of earning an honest living and being fair to your fellow man even if they lack the wisdom to understand the complexities of being conned.

    Reply
    • HansH
      HansH

      Yves, If that was true the rates in Sweden should be way higher than in the US. That is not the case.

      Let me give you the Sweden and US rates for May 2013 taken from my latest royalties statement:

      Sweden

      Ad supported €.001483
      Unlimited €.003473
      Mobile €.006012
      Telia bundle €.006565
      Premium €.010653

      US

      Ad supported €.000812
      Unlimited €.003207
      Mobile €.005248
      Premium €.009335

      There is another striking difference. 96% of my Swedish streams are by paying subscribers, leaving only 4% of ad supported streams. For the US 61% of the streams are paid for. 39% comes from the Free users.

      Reply
      • Yves Villeneuve
        Yves Villeneuve

        I’ve always said you are great source of misleading information, this no exception. Can you provide us with a link to you Pro-Spotify website?

        Change the USA numbers from Euros to USD, maybe trim the numbers some more and you get more realistic numbers.

        Maybe increase the Swedish Euro numbers quite a lot more and then you start talking more sense.

        Reply
        • HansH
          HansH

          Increasing the Swedish numbers? That would be faking. That’s not my style. I’m presenting you the cold hard and real numbers.

          Reply
          • Yves Villeneuve
            Yves Villeneuve

            Re: Swedish numbers

            At the very least, the Telia numbers are way off unless they are paying for the Spotify Premium version at €1.00 per subscription.

      • Yves Villeneuve
        Yves Villeneuve

        How much is Spotify charging Telia for each bundle subscription?

        How much is Spotify charging Swedes for the Premium, Mobile an Unlimited subscriptions?

        Reply
      • Yves Villeneuve
        Yves Villeneuve

        If Spotify is charging Telia the Premium rate, and by all sources on the Internet indicating this is correct, there is no way the Telia stream rate is correct. Telia subscribers are 50% more active than non-Telia subscribers.

        I see what you did there, I say Telia’s Spotify subscribers are barely active and like clockwork you say they are roughly 50% more active than the normal Premium subscriber. Say hello to Ek and Parker in your current phone or Skype connection.

        Reply
        • HansH
          HansH

          Yves, I just feel sorry for you and your lack of trust. I’m not gonna answer all your questions, first of all because you don’t trust my answers anyway, second because I don’t have most the info you are asking for.

          I could post a screenshot of my statement, but because you probably will state that this is also a fake, I’m not going to.

          As long as I know my data is correct and 100% real it’s enough for me.

          Just contact other musicians who use Zimbalam/Believe Digital for distribution. They will be able to confirm the above numbers.

          Reply
  8. GGG

    Since you’re comfortable showing your numbers, any chance you could take a screen shot so Yves will shut the fuck up about you faking numbers? That’d be cool.

    Reply
    • Yves Villeneuve
      Yves Villeneuve

      Hans is not comfortable off showing bullshit to me or you, even if there is a chance everyone will believe his fake screenshot, which at this point I am the only one who believes it will be fake.

      Reply
      • HansH
        HansH

        Believe whatever you want to believe Yves. I can only repeat that my data is genuine and 100% true. Why should I prove it to you? You have an inside source at Spotify you once told me. Contact your source and do your own research to see if your theories stand.

        BTW the Telia rate is not that hard to explain, but I’m certainly not going to help someone who is accusing me of fraud. You have to figure it out for yourself. Have fun!

        Reply
          • GGG
            GGG

            “Hans, you’re wrong!”

            “Yves, here’s data showing I’m not.”

            “Fake!”

            “Ok, prove you’re right.”

            “No, I’m leaving!”

            You have the debate mentality of an 8 year old, I hope you know this.

  9. This is bad for Sweden music i

    With streaming becoming dominant in Sweden, it is killing off downloads and CD, which provide higher royalties.

    This is BAD BAD BAD for the artists who will receive less royalties.

    Music labels and artists should boycott Spotify in Sweden so that streaming revenue will decrease and download/CD revenue will increase.

    This will benefit everyone.

    Reply
  10. Steve

    Even though overall revenue is going up, this can’t be a good thing for artists. Streaming provides a lot less royalties than download/CD.

    Reply
  11. Steve

    Let’s use hypothetical USA number.

    If music revenue in the USA increase from $7 billion a year to $7.84 a year (12% increase), but most of this increase is due to streaming, it seems like a good thing right?

    WRONG. It’s a bad thing.

    Streaming provides low royalties. As streaming share of the pie increase, it would be a disaster for everyone involved, especially the artists. Streaming = low royalties.

    Streaming needs to die off so artists can earn high royalties.

    Reply
    • Visitor
      Visitor

      If an artist makes only money from royalties, then he has a very bad contract. Artits around me are making a cut from the overall earnings, not only roylaties. For them, streaming is not an issue. Stop signing poor contracts rather than whine about streaming. IT WONT GO AWAY !

      Reply
  12. Miron

    I totally get this, music streaming is so much easier than any other method, I mean, I have playlists for most of my activities (I use Torch Music) and it puts me in the mood for whatever I’m doing.

    Reply

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