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Surprise boom for Swedish music industry

Published: 13 Jul 2012 10:53 GMT+02:00

Music sales rose by 30 percent in the first half this year compared to the corresponding period in 2011, according to statistics from the Swedish Recording Industry Association (Grammofonleverantörernas förening - GLF).

Spotify and similar digital music services stood for a bulk of the increase, but the decline in CD-sales has also levelled out.

A total of 4.4 million CDs were sold in Sweden in the first six months of 2012, a decrease of just one percent on last year's sales.

Overall, music sales generated a total of 446 million kronor ($63.5 million), according figures from GLF.

Streaming services like Spotify stood for 253 million kronor ($36 million) of the sales, an increase of 79 percent.

Ludwig Werner, CEO of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (Ifpi), was surprised by the boom.

"It is of course very positive," he told the TT news agency.

"In our business, we have not exactly been spoiled with increases in sales in the past ten years."

The figures lend further justification to previous claims that Spotify has been helped resurrect the Swedish record industry.

In early 2012, digital music sales for the first time stood for more than half of the record industry's incomes.

While CD sales had fallen, proceeds from Spotify sales surged.

However, illegal file-sharing is also on the rise, especially among young people, despite stringent new laws designed to clamp down on the practice.

According to a survey conducted by the Lund University in January 2012, 61 percent of 15- to 25-year-olds in Sweden share music and other content online.

Earlier this month, Swedish and Danish Skype-founders founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friislaunched launched, Rdio, a new music streaming service, in Sweden and Finland.

Rdio is seen as a Spotify rival and is also available in the US, UK, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Spain and Portugal.

The service offers “millions of songs with no ads”.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

12:00 July 13, 2012 by Paul_225
Music shouldn't be an "industry".
12:14 July 13, 2012 by byke
Why does the local insist on putting nationalism before fact? in an attempt to deceive?

At what point did iTunes account for sales? They are by far the greatest retailer worldwide to digitally distributed music. Then most probably followed by Amazon. However since neither of these companies or brands were not established with a connection to Sweden, as usual TL feels a need to ignore these facts and brush over them with their usual self interest propaganda.

I am surprised a journalists name wasn't printed at the end of this article.

Or was it simply passed on to TL with the instructions from the Führer?
10:27 July 15, 2012 by sharpless
@byke

Well, this article is just a translation from a swedish news agency (TT, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidningarnas_Telegrambyr%C3%A5 ).

On the other hand, I found some news from 2009, stating that at least Sony BMG and Universal got more money from Spotify than from iTunes in Sweden, and that's 3 years ago. I think it probably is even worse now. I don't know many that buy music from iTunes.
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