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