The music industry in numbers

Statistics for 2015



January 16 2010 was when the tide turned. The industry was informed that 2009 revenue from recorded music had risen by 10 percent. Was it a trend? After nearly a decade of declining numbers here was an indication of growth. Among the digital services which accounted for the strong growth were Nokia's Comes with Music and the Swedish company Spotify.

That same year in 2010, Musiksverige was founded and after the release party on November 9, it was determined that the organization's first task would be to produce reliable statistics on the entire music industry economic development, not just revenue from recorded music. The methodology we devised is now also being used by other creative industries and it has also inspired several of our Nordic neighbors.

I would like to believe that even back then we understood its importance so that years later, we could reflect on reliable industry statistics. Now that we have statistics for seven years (2009–2015), it has indeed become a central tool because in economic terms explain how we work and in which direction we are heading.

As stated in the report, growth remains very strong. We hope that the knowledge of our economic history creates conditions for policy and the outside world to understand the challenges that also exists in a prospering industry.

Ludvig Werner
Chairman of the Board, Musiksverige


The Swedish Music Industry in numbers – Statistics for 2015, as in previous statistical reports from Musiksverige shows the Swedish music industry turnover in terms of revenue generated through legitimate distribution in the domestic and export markets. Industry-specific words and terms can be found at the end of the report.

The report analyzes the Swedish music industry turnover since 2009, with a focus on the past year's revenue trend, based on the three main categories; copyright revenue/proceeds, revenue from recorded music and concert revenue.

Both revenue from recorded music and concert income refers to the entire market and the price to consumers.

Total sales for the overall music industry combined genres include:

  1. Copyright revenue generated when music is performed, for example, on radio, television, internet, or in the background at restaurants, and more. 
  2. Revenue from recorded music which is sold in physical or digital format. 
  3. Revenue from concerts in association with festivals and concerts. 

Furthermore, the report accounts for the revenue split between domestic and foreign sales. Domestic music sales refers to payments for music consumption in Sweden. That means that concert revenue from foreign acts like One Direction or Ariana Grande who performed in Sweden in 2015 are included in the domestic market revenue, while Swedish music performed abroad are reported as export income – in those instances revenue is generated in Sweden Registered companies . Swedish rights holders who have their music played on radio, television or via the Internet abroad constitute examples of copyright music exports. For example, a Swedish music company’s licensing to a party in another country, can be viewed as export revenue for recorded music by the Swedish company.

A working group has provided the data as well as reviewed the report. The working group has, as in previous years consisted of experts tied to member organizations that make up Musiksverige.

Ph.D. Linda Portnoff, Managing Director of Musiksverige, has collated the numbers as well as written the report. Sofia Thurn, project manager at Musiksverige, has overseen the entire project.

Musiksverige has published statistical reports since 2012. Since then, the statistics have been updated annually. The same methods have generally been applied from year to year, providing a comparison over time. In cases where the methodology has been revamped historical data has also been modified to preserve comparability. 

All reports authored by Musiksverige are available at

recorded music

Revenue from recorded music comes from the sale of music recordings in various formats such as CDs, downloads and streams. The figures reflect music paid for at consumer price level, but in order to avoid double counting, the copyright portion of the recorded music revenue has been subtracted and accounted for along with other copyright revenue.

Total revenue from recorded music amounted to almost two billion Swedish kronor, which is an increase of 12 percent over the previous year. The explanation lies primarily in the increased revenue from streamed music as well as an increase of revenue from abroad.  

In the domestic market, revenue from recorded music rose to almost 1.6 billion Swedish kronor and export revenue – which mainly relates to revenue from foreign based licenses to Swedish music companies – rose to 426 million Swedish kronor.

The chart below shows the market development for recorded music from 2009 to 2015 and has been compiled with the help of data provided by IFPI and based on assumptions on the market for streaming music when it comes to the number of monthly Spotify subscribers.

The chart below shows the breakdown of revenue from recorded music in different formats from the domestic market over the period 2009–2015. We see how consumption in Sweden has shifted from physical and downloaded formats to streaming music services, and 85 percent of revenue now comes from streaming music services. Essentially, these revenue come from primarily Spotify subscriptions.

Sales of music in physical formats – mainly CDs and vinyl, but also music-related DVDs totaled just under half a billion Swedish kronor.

2012–2015 Revenue distribution

  Revenue from recorded music 2012–2015 (million kronor)

Revenue from recorded music 2012–2015 (million kronor)

 Export   Domestic 

Distribution of revenue from recorded music

  Distribution of revenue from recorded music in different formats in the local market 2009–2015Copyright revenue 2009–2015 (million kronor)

Distribution of revenue from recorded music in different formats in the local market 2009–2015Copyright revenue 2009–2015 (million kronor)

 Download sales   Streaming sales   Physical sales 

concert REVENUe

Concert revenue in this report are estimated based on data from Statistics Sweden’s department for structural business enterprise [1] with regards to the domestic market revenue, and tax statistics within the same code in the export market. Musiksverige has subsequently processed revenue by reducing them to 80 percent since the amount of data from Statistics Sweden also include operations outside the music industry. [2]

Domestic concert revenue refers to ticket prices for concerts and festivals in Sweden. Concert related export revenue refers to companies registered in Sweden for Swedish artists who perform concerts and go on tour internationally.

As in previous years, concert revenue in 2015 accounted for just over half of the total revenue. It amounted to 4.8 billion Swedish kronor and thus represented 53 percent of the music industry's total revenue from the domestic and export markets. Concert revenue increased by 14 percent in 2014, which is the single largest increase ever measured in this sector since records began with Musiksverige since 2007. About a tenth of the total concert revenue, 542 million Swedish kronor, came from concerts and tours abroad. [3]

Some of the trends identified by STIM in the live sector is the emergence of new festivals, especially within the area of so-called Electronic Dance Music, EDM. These festivals have taken place in some of Sweden's largest cities. Now they have established themselves in smaller towns such as Orebro. One day festival formats seem to appeal to the audience segment well.

Another observation worth noting is that festivals previously dependent on the sale of pre-order tickets have been revamped to free festivals with a scaled-down artist budget, where money is taken out in ways other than via ticket sales.


Distribution of concert revenue

  Distribution of concert revenue 2007–2015

Distribution of concert revenue 2007–2015

 Concert revenue in Sweden   Concert revenue from abroad 


The Swedish music market had a turnover of almost 9.2 billion Swedish kronor in 2015, representing an increase of approximately 13 percent compared with the year before. The strong performance was largely driven by an increase in revenue from concerts and festivals, which is the single largest revenue source, as well as by strong exports.

If we analyze the music industry revenue from an export perspective, we see that the percentage distribution is changing, with the copyright revenue accounting for 45 percent of total exports (778 million Swedish kronor), followed by concert revenue at 31 percent (542 million Swedish kronor) and revenue from recorded music at 24 percent (426 million Swedish kronor).

Exports of over 1.7 billion Swedish kronor in 2015 accounted for 19 percent of the Swedish music industry's total sales. This is the highest measured export rate since 2009. In total, Swedish music exports increased by nearly 300 million Swedish kronor, which is a 21 percent increase compared to 2014.

Revenue trends within the music industry is very much related to the performance and fluctuation of the Swedish krona. Generally speaking, when the Swedish krona is weak compared to foreign exchange rate, it gives the export a boost in a positive direction. Despite the strength of the krona's exchange rate over the course of the financial crisis over the period 2009–2013, music export revenue has increased for each of those years. However, since the first quarter of 2013, the krona has weakened against a weighted average of different currencies, which boosted Swedish exports. In 2015, the krona rallied against the Euro, but remained weakened against the dollar. For example, revenue from the US to copyright holders and publishers doubled from 2014 to 2015.

In the charts below, we see the combined export and domestic revenue from the Swedish music industry split into types of income. Following that is the total revenue broken into domestic and export markets.

Total revenue 2015

  2015 distribution of music industry’s revenue from domestic and export market split into types of income

2015 distribution of music industry’s revenue from domestic and export market split into types of income


Revenue distribution of music export

  Revenue distribution of Swedish music export (percent, million kronor)

Revenue distribution of Swedish music export (percent, million kronor)


Music market’s revenue trend

  Swedish music markets revenue trend 2009–2015 (million kronor)

Swedish music markets revenue trend 2009–2015 (million kronor)

 Concert revenue   Copyright revenue   Revenue from recorded music 

Export market’s revenue trend

  Swedish export markets revenue trend 2009–2015 (million kronor)

Swedish export markets revenue trend 2009–2015 (million kronor)

 Export   Domestic 


Mechanical rights

Authors’ rights refers to the right to receive remuneration for their work when they have transferred the right to reproduce it digitally or, for example, CD, vinyl and DVD.


Merchandise is a term for items such as for example, T-shirts, posters and toy figurines sold with the artist's logo or name, often in conjunction with tours or concerts but also through the artist's website or other retail outlets.

record labels

Music record labels work with among other things to find and develop artists, record music as well as be responsible for the marketing and sales of music. Indies are a shortening of independents and refers to record labels that are completely separate and independent from major companies. In 2015, the major music record labels that exist are Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group.

Music publishers

Music publishers work on behalf of songwriters, composers and lyricists. Music publishers promote and represent the rights to the author's music so that they receive compensation for the use of their musical creations. Music publishers promote the music to different users within a variety of areas, including synchronization in film, television and advertising as well as the issuance of notes and lyrics.

neighboring rights

Copyright law gives artists and musicians involved in the recording and the producer of the recording copyright protection, both voluntarily and economically. An artist who writes, performs and produces their own music is both a rights holder as well as a holder of neighboring rights.

Public performance

Public performance occurs when music is performed in front of an audience at a concert or played from for example television, computer, radio or disc such as a store, a workplace or restaurant.

Online sales

Online sales relates to the sale of music via digital music services such as iTunes (music downloads) and Spotify (streaming music). This category also includes some revenue from web TV and web radio, such as SVT Play and SR Webb and similar services.

Private copying compensation

Private copying remuneration makes it possible to copy and record music, movie and television for private use whilst the creators of the work being copied receive compensation for their original efforts. According to EU law private copying is permitted only if the rights holder is adequately compensated. Private copying compensation is paid by the industry that manufactures and sells products that can be used for private copying, such as CD / DVDs, MP3 players, external hard drives, USB memories, mobile phones and digital receivers with integrated hard disk.


A synchronization occurs when one combines music with a visual production, such as film, television or advertising. For the music to be used in the production, permission from the author, artist, his publisher and music label should be obtained. The copyright holder will also receive compensation when the production is broadcast in mainstream media.

Streaming music

Examples of streaming music services include Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal. The streaming of music (streaming) is when audio files are sent from a web service, via the Internet, to the recipient's computer, mobile phone, etc. where the files are played back in real time at the same time they are transmitted from the web service. One can then listen to the music directly, without first downloading the entire file.

Copyright revenue

Copyright revenue is compensation to rights holders for their musical works copied or performed / transmitted to the public, for example via the radio or at concerts.

Retransmission or cable TV compensation

When a television channel broadcasts on cable television networks, rights holders have the right to compensation from those who broadcast the channel.


Specifically, using sales statistics based on SNI-code 90.02 Support company for artistic enterprises.

A detailed description of how this percentage is set to take part in the Music industry – method development. The report is available here.

Both Swedish and international concerts or management company help to organize and manage the performances of some Swedish artists and musicians abroad. When Swedish artists collaborate with foreign agents, management and / or the organizers, the concert related export revenue to Sweden is made up of only the artist wages. This therefore differs from concerts performed in Sweden, where sales correspond to the full value of tickets sold.


Erik Lundin Photo: Joel Nyström
Seinabo Sey Photo: Andreas Öhlund & Maria Therese
Nina Kinert Photo: Mathias Johansson
Amason Photo: Tobias Center Wall
Andrea Tarrodi Photo: Louisa Sundell
Sven-Bertil Taube Photo: Lina Eidelberg

About Musiksverige

Musiksverige is an association tasked with communicating and highlighting the industry’s key topics for discussion. Our primary aim is to provide commercial Swedish music with the best possible foundation and environment needed to create, develop and thrive internationally through collaboration with other creative industries, government agencies and departments.

The founders are SAMI (The Swedish Artists’ and Musicians’ Interest Organization), Musikerförbundet, Symf (Sveriges Yrkesmusikerförbund), Stim (Swedish Performing Rights Society), FST (The Society of Swedish Composers), The Swedish Music Publishers Association, SKAP (The Swedish Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors), IFPI Sweden (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) and SOM (Svenska Oberoende Musikproducenter).

Network members are SSES (Swedish Sound Engineers Society), Swedish Accordionists Association, MBIN (Music Business Independent Network), MMF (Music Managers Forum Sweden) and Association of Music Industry Training.

Read more about Musiksverige at

Contact details

Linda Portnoff, CEO Musiksverige
Phone: +46 (0) 70 465 89 46