Copyright revenue is compensation for the use of music, for example, in radio and television, video games, commercials, online or in the background at restaurants. The revenue goes to composers, songwriters, musicians, artists, music publishers, music labels and producers.

In 2015, copyright revenue accounted for 25 percent of the music industry's total sales. The copyright revenue amounted to 2.3 Swedish billion kronor, which corresponds to an increase of seven per cent compared to 2014. It is primarily export earnings which has contributed to the increase. In total, there was an export increase of 14 percent compared to the previous year to 778 Swedish million kronor.

Copyright revenue in Sweden today is driven by the growth of the online sector. Just three years ago, things looked so different. At that time revenue from the use of background music in public spaces generated more than the total revenue from streaming music services, internet radio, podcasts and music in movies online. If we look even further back, so-called mechanical rights associated with the reproduction of physical copies was a source of revenue to be reckoned with. Since 2009, this type of copyright revenue has declined to about half. The market for music consumption is changing, and in recent years synchronization rights has contributed growing revenue to copyright holders.

The graph and the table in the following presentation show the progression of copyright revenue over time. Revenue can be divided into six broad categories. Performance rights is the single largest category. It consists of revenue derived from licenses to use background music at restaurants, hotels, concerts, cinemas and other public places, as well as music in commercial and public service television, radio and community radio. The total revenue for this use in 2015 amounted to just over 1.3 billion Swedish kronor.

When music is consumed online, for example via Spotify or iTunes, technically there occurs both a type of performance and type of mechanization. The revenue generated as a result of online listening are filed under the online category. The online sector amounted to 482 million Swedish kronor in 2015. The growth rate slowed from 30 percent between 2013 and 2014 to 20 percent between 2014 and 2015.

Revenue from the licensing of mechanical rights decreased by about a fifth compared to 2014, which is a direct correlation to a decrease in physical sales. Revenue from mechanical copyright amounted to 135 million Swedish kronor in 2015.

Revenue from synchronization rights increased for the second consecutive year, from 171 million Swedish kronor in 2014 to 210 million Swedish kronor in 2015 which corresponds to a rise of 23 percent. The Swedish music publishers generally see a growing trend, while at the same time there is some redistribution of market share between music publishers on the sturdier aspects such as mechanical, performance- and online rights where there is continued international success for Swedish creators. Revenue from synchronization rights is usually said to fluctuate sharply during years, but on the export side they have quadrupled since 2010.

Private copying and cable transmission compensation amounted to 59 million Swedish kronor. Cable compensation nearly doubled compared to the previous year while copying related revenue decreased. Largely due to a decrease in copying for private use in favour of streaming alternatives. The overall increase was 28 percent.

The category of other revenue amounted to 93 million Swedish kronor in 2015. This consists of revenue from several different sectors – such as graphic rights in the form of licenses, certain rights for live, merchandise, synchronizations as well as library- and phonogram compensations to producers. According to the trends, graphic rights decreased evenly distributed among publishers. 

The data comes from STIM, NCB, SAMI, Ifpi Sweden, The Swedish Music Publishers Association and Copyswede.

2014 & 2015 comparison

  2015 copyright revenue compared to 2014 (million kronor as well as percentage changes)

2015 copyright revenue compared to 2014 (million kronor as well as percentage changes)

Development of copyright revenue

  Copyright revenue 2009–2015 (million kronor)

Copyright revenue 2009–2015 (million kronor)

 Performance rights   Online   Mechanical rights   Synchronisation rights   Private copying and forwarding 
 Misc. (. (graphical rights, library compensation and more)