90% of Nordic population streams music, but less than half are paying for it

Written by frtyfve Team

A new report illustrates that whilst 90% of the Nordic population streams music, free services still dominate

According to the Polaris Nordic Digital Music Survey 2018, the majority of people in the Nordics stream music, but only 43% are paying premium subscribers. The report has shown that even though 69% of the Nordic population agrees that music creators should be compensated when their music is used in online services, the number of people using only free services has grown by 7% to 47% in 2018.

The survey was carried out as part of a collaborative project between three Nordic collecting societies, Koda (Denmark), Teosto (Finland) and TONO (Norway).

Free services dominate online music use in the Nordics

The report states that a total of 90% of all inhabitants aged 12 to 65 have used a music streaming service over the course of the last year. Despite this, the breakdown of user accounts indicates that the freemium plans, still seem to be the most used.

  • 47% use free or trial versions only and do not have any paid subscription
  • 43% of the users are premium subscribers or are paying for music through a bundled service

Interestingly, there is a significant difference between the percentage of paying subscribers across the Nordic countries:

  • Sweden, 51%
  • Norway, 50%
  • Denmark, 46%
  • Finland, 26%

In terms of service popularity, YouTube sits on top, with 74% of the population of the Nordic countries using the platform to stream music in the period. Spotify follows, with 54% usage across the population.

Music streaming on the rise via Facebook and Instagram

The survey also shows that music is being consumed regularly on social media, with 20% of the Nordic population using Facebook and 11% using Instagram, to watch music videos, or videos containing music. 11% also stated that they use Instagram for the same use.

In reflection of the recent debate surrounding artist remuneration, the survey states that 69% of the Nordic population agrees with the statement: "I think it's fair that online services, which use music as a part of their business, pay a share of their revenue to the creators of the music".

"The recent explosion in digital music consumption is a very positive thing: it testifies to how the legal and well-functioning streaming services are easily available and accessible and have become part of everyday life. However, the number of people who use free services are, sadly, significant," says Anders Lassen, CEO of KODA.

"We are happy to see that more and more people are choosing paid premium subscriptions, but the "transfer of value" problem still needs fixing. Social media is also widely used for music consumption. It is necessary that online services, which use music as a part of their business, pay a share of their revenue to the creators of the music", says Risto Salminen, CEO of Teosto.

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