Legal Business No Better

The mixed message from Norway’s recorded music market is that stamping out piracy doesn’t necessarily improve sales.

Six years ago an International Federation of the Phonographic Industry survey showed that 70 percent of those younger than 30 who had internet access were illegally downloading music, while a more recent poll shows that now hardly any Norwegians are bothering to steal music.

The reason for this near-complete erosion of piracy in the Nordic region is that young people now have better options, which has led to streaming services such as Spotify and Tidal/WiMP accounting for 75 percent of Norwegian recorded music industry income.

“We are now offering services that are both better and more user-friendly than illegal platforms. In the past five years, we have virtually eliminated illegal file sharing in the music industry,” explained IFPI Norge managing director Marte Thorsby. However, rather than providing the business with a financial boost, the growth of streaming still isn’t compensating for the decline in physical sales.

Overall revenues for the Nordic market rose by 7 percent in 2012 and then by 11 percent in 2013, but last year’s figures show the overall market is flat and that CD sales plunged by some 42 percent. The value of the Norwegian recorded music is currently put at 601 million Krone ($77.5 million).