Jun 28, 2024 2 min read

55% of Nordic consumers pay to stream music, though number in Sweden has slipped

Polaris has published a new study on streaming trends in the Nordic markets. The total number of people streaming music in the region has increased since the last study in 2022. Radio remains a key discovery platform for the total population, though TikTok is more important for younger consumers

55% of Nordic consumers pay to stream music, though number in Sweden has slipped

The percentage of consumers in the Nordic region now accessing music via streaming services is 95%, up from 91% in 2022. 55% are paying to access those services, which is also up, from 53% in 2022. Although in Spotify’s home market of Sweden, the number of paying subscribers has slipped in the last two years from 59% to 56%. 

These stats come from a new report published by Polaris, a digital licensing hub that represents the rights of three Nordic collecting societies, Koda in Denmark, Teosto in Finland and Tono in Norway. It’s based on a YouGov survey of 4000 consumers in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. 

Given that the Nordic countries are among the most mature of streaming markets, with impressive adoption of music streaming early on, it is interesting to review trends in that part of the world. 

For the music industry, paid-for streaming is much more lucrative than ad-funded streaming, so those figures are particularly interesting. According to the study, the percentage of consumers in each country paying to access a music service is 60% in Denmark, 56% in Sweden, 63% in Norway and 41% in Finland. Although Finland has always been behind the other three markets in terms of premium subscribers, it has seen the most growth since 2022, up 6%. 

The number of people paying to access music online is less than with video services. The report notes that 83% of Nordic consumers pay for TV and movie streaming, even though the average consumer spends more time per day streaming music (3.6 hours) than video (3.1 hours). 

The top three reasons given for not paying for a music streaming service were that the consumer doesn’t feel they listen to enough music to justify paying; that there are lots of free options so they don't see the need to pay; and that the paid service is too expensive. 

Respondents were also asked about where they discover new music. Radio still tops the list of discovery channels for the population at large, at 23% for the whole Nordic region. Songs pushed to users via streaming service playlists or algorithms comes in at 11%. 

The same number of people cite YouTube as a place they discover new music, while 9% said TikTok. That number is unsurprisingly much higher among younger consumers. 

For teenagers, TikTok was the most common means of discovering new songs, coming in as high as 36% in Norway. For the 18-29 age group, TikTok was the leading discovery platform in all countries except Norway.

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