The rising number of Danish subscribers to music streaming services is eclipsed by substantial consumption of free music

Nordic survey: Increase in subscriptions eclipsed by prominent free music consumption

Of all the Nordic countries, Denmark has seen the greatest growth in the number of music streaming subscriptions since 2018. However, measured in terms of time, the majority of all Danish digital music consumption takes place on free online services, where the payment to the music creators is significantly lower. This and more is revealed by The Polaris Nordic Digital Music Survey 2020.

Today, 56 per cent of all Danes have a paid subscription to a music streaming service – an increase of 22 per cent since 2018. This is the largest increase seen during this period among all the Nordic countries, and also means that Denmark now has the greatest number of paying users of all the Nordic countries. All this and more is evident from The Polaris Nordic Digital Music Survey 2020, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Polaris HUB, which is a joint venture between the Nordic collective rights management organisations Koda (DK), TONO (NO) and Teosto (FIN). 

Free music consumption dominates

However, despite the large increase in the number of music streaming subscriptions, 34 per cent of Danes still listen exclusively to music through free services. YouTube is by far the most popular of those free services, followed by Spotify Free. When considering the Danes’ total digital music consumption over time, no less than 63 per cent takes place on free services – services where the payment made to music creators is at best ten times lower than for subscription services.

 

A pall is cast on otherwise joyful news - Kaare Struve
The consequences of free music streaming

The implications of the current business model for music streaming can be clearly seen when comparing it to the market for TV and video streaming. A market where the business model is in many ways reminiscent of music streaming, but with the crucial difference that no premium content is available for free.

 

Music creators are deeply dependent on a healthy music streaming market - Kaare Struve

As a result, the number of paying users is also significantly higher. No less than 70 per cent of Danes pay for at least one TV or video streaming service, and more than half of them have two or more subscriptions.

‘The market penetration in the video streaming market shows us what the music industry is missing out on financially. Given this state of affairs, the music industry should ask itself whether we can continue to accept having such vast offerings of free music out there – and live with the current year-long price freeze. For Koda, these issues are certainly cause for increasing concern, and even more so with the current corona crisis in mind. The crisis highligts the fact that music creators are deeply dependent on a healthy music streaming market,’ says Kaare Struve.

You can find many more figures and trends from Denmark and the Nordic region in the full report

KEY FIGURES

  • 56 per cent of Danes pay for a music streaming subscription.
    (2018: 45 per cent)
  • 34 per cent of Danes listen exclusively to music through a free service.
    (2018: 40 per cent)
  • 72 per cent of 12–17 year olds pay for a music streaming subscription.
    (2018: 50 per cent)
  • 63 per cent of the Danes’ total digital music consumption (measured in terms of time spent) takes place on free services.
  • 69 per cent of Danes have used YouTube to listen to music for free.
    (2018: 66 per cent)
  • 42 per cent of Danish Spotify users have used the service’s free or trial version.
  • On average, Danes stream music for 2.8 hours a day.
  • 70 per cent of all Danes pay for a TV / movie streaming subscription
    (2018: 61 per cent)
  • 41 per cent of all Danes have at least two TV/movie streaming subscriptions.
  • Netflix is the largest TV / movie streaming service in Denmark (49 per cent), followed by TV 2 Play (28 per cent) and Viaplay (27 per cent).
About the survey

The Polaris Digital Music Survey was carried out by YouGov on behalf of Polaris HUB, a joint venture between the Nordic collective rights management organisations Koda (DK), TONO (NO) and Teosto (FIN). Polaris HUB negotiates and enters into all agreements on the use of music on digital music services on behalf of the three societies.  

More about Polaris HUB