The recent Digital Music Survey 2017 conducted by Polaris Nordic Alliance revealed that almost all Nordic consumers stream music, and 40% are premium subscribers. Video sharing platform Youtube topped the list, with Spotify being number two, and iTunes taking the third place. 67% of the Nordic population agree that music creators should be compensated when their music is used in online services.

The survey has been carried out as a collaborative project involving the three Nordic collecting societies Koda (DK), Teosto (FIN) and TONO (N) and targeted people from Norway, SwedenFinland and Denmark aged 12 to 65.

Youtube Takes The Lead In Music Streaming

Within the last year, 87% of all online music listeners had streamed music from at least one free service, and nearly 40% of the users are premium subscribers or are paying for music through a bundled service. The numbers differ on a national level: in Sweden and Norway, 48% of respondents have a paid subscription, 43%in Denmark and 22% in Finland.

The most popular streaming service in the Nordics is YouTube. Within the last year, 60% of the population of the Nordic countries had used YouTube to stream music. Out of this group, 71% used the service at least weekly. Next on the list is Spotify: 50% of the population had used this service to stream music, and out of this group 77% used the service at least once a week.

Facebook Takes The Lead In Music Sharing

Music is also widely featured on social media, on Facebook in particular. The survey demonstrated that 35% of the Nordic population have watched music videos on social media at least once a week. On top of that, 19% have seen or shared a concert on a social media, and at least 71% out of this group have done so on Facebook. The survey also reveals that 67% of the Nordic population finds it important that creators of music get a compensation when their works are used in online services.

Streaming services are the consumers’ dream, and for songwriters and artists, they have made access to the market extremely easy. We are happy to see that more and more people are choosing paid premium subscriptions, but the “transfer of value” problem needs to be fixed. The survey shows that Facebook has become an important medium for music consumption. It is necessary that the EU ensures a new legal framework that will allow music creators to have a fair share of the digital music economy,” says Katri Sipilä, CEO of Teosto.

The Polaris societies Teosto, Koda and TONO are, together with 29 other European authors societies, working through the lobby organisation GESAC to convince the EU that Europe needs a new legislation that will ensure that platform services, typically social media, will be made eligible to pay rights holders fair remuneration when their music is used online. The survey reveals that a large portion of the Nordic population agrees with this.

However, there is a concern that new regulation, if adopted, may result in a drastic decline of music sharing on social media. We are looking forward to seeing whether these findings will affect the policy of streaming services in Europe in the future.

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