NEWS | 26 Mar 2019

The impact of digitalisation on the Norwegian music industry

Norwegian music sales are shrinking, and the conditions for Norwegian artists and rights-holders are getting tougher. This is reported in a recent investigation of the impact of digitalisation on the music industry in Norway.

Cover Norwegian report about the digitalisation of the music industryDigitalisation has changed how music is distributed and listened to, and these changes have affected the Norwegian music industry. This is evident in a new report on the effects of digitalisation on the Norwegian music industry.

The aim of the report – carried out by the Center for Creative Industries at BI Norwegian Business School, together with Menon Economics, on behalf of the Ministry of Culture – was to map the music field. It was also to examine how digitalisation has affected the industry's value systems, market structures, and competitive situation.

One of the main results is that, despite the growth in the overall music market, the conditions for Norwegian musicians have become more difficult. Although the total music market in Norway increased from
NOK 5 billion to 7.6 billion during the period 2011-2017, the sales share
for Norwegian music decreased from 39 to 33 per cent.

The growing presence of global streaming services is mainly to blame for the negative development for Norwegian music. Since people listen less to domestic music and more to foreign music via these platforms, the report claims, the growth of streaming services is a threat to the Norwegian music industry. For the period 2011-2017, the streaming services’ share of the music industry turnover increased from 5 to 14 per cent.

Radio is still the most important platform for listening to music, with streaming services in a clear second place. Four of ten Norwegians have streaming services as their first choice for music. In addition, every third Norwegian Spotify user says they always or frequently use Spotify's recommendations and/or playlists. This means that the streaming services exercise great power over users' listening patterns.

The report concludes with a number of proposals for strengthening the Norwegian music industry. One entails reintroducing the Norwegian music quota into the national radio licenses, a requirement that disappeared with the transition from FM to DAB standard in 2017.

Another involves introducing better coding of music on the digital platforms, in order to allow the rights-holders to identify and thus demand payment for their music. The writers also suggest support for the EU proposal for new copyright legislation.

Find the report here (in Norwegian): Hva nå – digitaliseringens innvirkning på norsk musikkbransje

News from BI Norwegian Business School, February 1, 2019 (in Norwegian)


More information: Hva nå – digitaliseringens innvirkning på norsk musikkbransje [What now - the impact of digitalisation on the Norwegian music industry] is published by BI Center for Creative Industries, a research centre for the creative industries at BI Norwegian Business School. The report was written by Irina Eidsvold-Tøien, Øyvind Torp, Marcus Gjems Theie, Audun Molde, Terje Gaustad, Harald Sommerstad, Anne Espelien, and Anne-Britt Gran.