Swedish Musicians Earning More

Although Pirate Bay’s antics have given the country the reputation for being “the home of illegal file-sharing,” recent figures show that Swedish musicians are making considerably more money than they were a decade ago.

Total artists’ revenues have increased by almost 35 percent to more than 1 billion kronor ($140 million) since 2000, according to Daniel Johansson, head of music industry analysis firm Trend Maze and researcher at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

“From one perspective this is very good news. It shows that Sweden still has a very interesting music industry and that the whole music industry system have changed and started to adapt itself to the new music landscape,” Johansson explained, pointing out that it isn’t such good news that the Swedish music industry had been at the same level for nine years.

Since 2001, Swedish record labels have seen a dramatic drop in revenues. But, in 2009, the trend changed for the first time since 2001. During the first nine months total revenues increased with 18 percent compared with a year ago and digital revenues were up by 80 percent.

The research suggests that earlier statements about the devastating effects by illegal piracy, claiming that the Swedish music sector has lost 60 percent of its turnover, are simply false.

Recently, Johansson’s blog site suggests he’s become a little irked by people who have used his data as a basis for saying record labels have become an unnecessary evil.

“Most pirate supporters seem to forget that most of the music they love has come to life because of record labels. They seem to forget that during many years, record labels have been the creative centre for the global music industry, finding, developing, recording and publishing the music that we all love,” he wrote. “Record labels are not bad. They have just been a little confused.”