The question of when the Swedish music industry will plateau is a crucial one for the global industry, which looks to Spotify’s homeland for an indication as too how far streaming-led growth can go.
Before Covid-19, at least, the signs were promising for Sweden’s continued growth: in 2019 recorded music income in Sweden grew 3.5% to 1.52bn SEK ($157.2m), according to IFPI Sweden, following increases of 4% in 2018, 2.8% in 2017 and 6.2% in 2016.
More than 35% of the total population of Sweden is now subscribed to a music streaming service. But IFPI Sweden CEO Ludvig Werner, who we interview for our latest country profile, says this may not be for a while, with older consumers, immigrants to the country and younger music fans all helping to boost uptake.
As to where the eventual ceiling may lie, Werner says that 50% of the Swedish population using streaming services – both free and premium – is eminently possible, with his answer giving an insight into how mainstream streaming has become in Spotify’s home country. “Is 50% possible? I think so,” he says. “You need to refer to streaming, especially if you combine premium and premium, as [being like] having any sources of music. And then you can compare with having a CD player at home, having a radio at home, in the old days. 25 years ago 50% of the population could play music if they wanted. Maybe that is the way you need to address streaming.” Read the full profile here.