Music Sales Are Up in Sweden. Thank You Spotify!

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Music sales are down in the United States, the U.K., Canada… I could go on, but why not talk about a country that’s apparently doing something right?

Music sales in Sweden went up 5 percent in 2013.

Much like the U.S., CD sales and digital downloads are down in Sweden.  CD sales are down 30 percent and digital downloads are down 22.6 percent.  This has been solidly offset by the rise in streaming.

Streaming rose 30.3 percent and now accounts for 71 percent of music sales in Sweden.

Vinyl also followed the upward trend of other countries. Vinyl sales went up 22 percent and now make up 1.4 percent of all sales.

11 Responses

  1. Me

    So, what exactly are they doing differently in Sweden? How do we apply that to the U.S. market?

    • visitor

      Spotify is subsidized by Wireless & Teleco’s in Sweden… let’s get AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to subsidize Spotify in the USA… uh yeah, good luck with that…

  2. Yves Villeneuve

    Is Spotify profitable in Sweden? If not, how will they achieve profitability in that country or any country?

    Nina did not mention the impact of bundles and resulting fake active subscriptions, or duplication/triplication of subscriptions from TV, non-mobile and mobile Internet offerings.

    Nina and other music nerds seem to believe everyone less active in on-demand music listening should subsidize their extensive music consumption. I don’t believe this is a fair consumer/business model.

  3. cjhoffmn

    What does streaming rose mean Nina? More streams were served? More people subscribed? How does streaming account for sales?

  4. JTVDigital

    This is a vocabulary issue, when you exploit music content digitally there are 2 main ways to do it, download or stream.
    Rise in streaming sales means the revenue paid by music retailers to the labels increased for the exploitation of type: streaming.
    Technically a stream is considered as a sale since it generates a royalties payment from the retailer to the master right holder.

    • cjhoffmn

      Yeah, the link to the article wasn’t working the day (and still won’t load) – but even so – because streaming has a dual metric – its important to enumerate what we’re talking about.

      If Streams are up, and Revenues of Spotify are up, its important to know which went up more.

      If streams went up by 1000 streams, and Revs were up by $500 then more artists/labels/tracks made less on average.

      If streams were steady and Revs were up, then the same # of artists/labels/tracks made more.

      So “Sales” being up is not a complete metric in the world of streaming, and I couldn’t get to the article, so I was curious what that meant.

      For example – here’s an article that explains that the revs from music are up because of Spotify.

      But it is not clear here if there were more or less units streamed, so while Revs are up (and we don’t know the mix of ad vs paid subs) we don’t know what that means for the labels and artists.

  5. Yves Villeneuve

    Another Perspective:

    Spotify claims 4.5 billion hours of streams in 2013. They falsely claim over 24 million active subscribers.

    4.5 billion / 52 weeks / 24 million = 3.6 listening hours per week per subscriber

    USA radio consumers listen to 14+ hours per week of radio. I assume radio listening habits are similar worldwide.

    A better illustration of active Spotify subscribers assuming they possess listening habits similar to radio listeners:

    4.5 billion / 52 weeks / 14 hours per week = 6.2 million worldwide active Spotify subscribers or less than 7.5-10% of registered Spotify users are active

    • Visitor

      If people stream less rates go up right? If I pay $10 a month 70% is for royalties so $ 7 goes to rights matter how many songs I stream. So what is your point with these Telco deals. Less streams are good for Spotify but have no effect on the amount of money that goes to rights holders.

      • Yves Villeneuve

        These telco deals rip off customers much like TV cable monopolies/oligopolies rip off customers with those channel bundles. It’s fake success and should be a wake up call for people who preach on-demand all access streaming is the future or is popular. On-demand all-access streaming is similar to TV channels that almost nobody wants to watch. Today, in Canada and the US there is proposed legislation to force unbundling of TV channels. Eventually Telecom investors will figure out music streaming bundles are an unnecessary cost to keep customers. Government officials are figuring out bundling is an unfair business practice.