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Nordic survey: More people pay for music streaming, but most consumption still takes place on free music services

Kuvituskuva: nainen kuuntelee musiikkia kuulokkeilla
03.06.2022

The proportion of residents in the Nordic countries who pay for music streaming has gone up by four percentage points from 2020. Even so, the greater part of the total digital music consumption in the Nordic region takes place on one of the many free music services. These findings can be found in The Polaris Nordic Digital Music Survey 2022, which has just been published.

In 2022, more than half of all residents in the Nordic region pay for music streaming through a subscription to services such as Spotify or Apple Music. Across Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, 53 per cent of the population has a subscription to a music service, whereas the 2020 figure was 49 per cent. The increase is largely due to positive developments in the Swedish and Norwegian streaming markets.

At the same time, the proportion of those who exclusively use a free music service has fallen slightly. They now account for 38 per cent of all Nordic residents against 42 per cent in 2020.

All this is revealed in the Polaris Nordic Digital Music Survey 2022, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Polaris HUB, which is a joint venture between the Nordic collective rights management societies Koda (DK), TONO (NO) and Teosto (FIN).

Most music consumption on free services

Although more than half of the population in the Nordic countries pay for a streaming subscription, 64 per cent of the total digital music consumption takes place on one of the many free music services, where songwriters receive significantly lower payment than on the subscription services. 44 per cent of the total Nordic music consumption takes place on YouTube and the three largest social media: Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

When consumers are asked why they listen to music on free services, the most frequent answers are: ‘I listen to music so little I do not need a paid version of the service,’ and ‘There are many options for streaming music for free, so I don’t see why I should pay’.

In contrast to the music streaming market, the study shows that the video streaming market has significantly greater success in attracting subscribers. In 2022 81 per cent of Nordic residents are paying for a subscription to a video streaming service, which is an increase of 12 percentage points since 2020. Netflix is ​​the most popular video service in the Nordic region, followed by HBO Max.

Key figures

  • 53% of all Nordic residents pay for a music streaming subscription (2020: 49%)
  • 38% of all Nordic residents exclusively listen to music via a free service(2020: 42%)
  • 62% of the total amount of music streamed (in terms of time) is streamed from free services (2020: 68%)
  • With 24% of the total amount of music streamed (in terms of time), Spotify is the most popular paid subscription service in the Nordics (2020: 22%)
  • With 22% of the total amount of music streamed (in terms of time), YouTube is the most popular free service in the Nordics (2020: 25%)
  • TikTok is, for the first time, among the Top 5 digital services used for streaming
  • 24% of all Nordic residents have watched/listened to a live concert online.
  • 91% of all Nordic residents stream music (2020: 91%)
  • 81% of all Nordic residents subscribe to at least one commercial TV/movie content streaming service
    (2020: 69%)

More information on trends, figures and an account of the survey methodology is available in the full report.

About the Polaris HUB

The Polaris Digital Music Survey was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Polaris HUB, a joint venture between the Nordic collective rights management societies 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.

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