Streaming Sales Lift Scandinavian Music Market

Streaming services such as Sweden's Spotify have boosted music sales across Scandinavia.

Total music revenue in Norway jumps 17 percent in the first half of this year, thanks to the boom in online streaming.

COLOGNE, Germany -- The Norwegian music industry is having a good year, thanks to Spotify and other online music streaming services.

Statistics published Thursday showed streaming revenue up 66 percent in the first half of this year and streaming now accounts for two thirds of total music revenues in the region, up from 46 percent of total music sales in Norway last year.

Overall, first-half music revenues were up 17 percent in Norway. Sales of physical discs fell by 29 percent and music download revenue dropped 21 percent. Digital sales, both downloads and streaming, now accounts for fully 80 percent of music revenue in the territory.

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It's been a similar story across the Nordic region. In Sweden, home to Spotify, music revenue in the first half was up 13.8 percent, with streaming accounting for the largest share of sales. In Finland, sales were up a slim 1.2 percent, but streaming services are not as well established there yet. Fully 73 percent of music revenue in Finland is still earned in physical sales.

And in Denmark, a recent study commissioned by the Danish recording industry found that legal streaming services undercut online piracy. Fully 81 percent of those surveyed who admitted to illegally downloading music claimed to have stopped after gaining access to a legal streaming service.