The Swedes have stopped buying music because they love streaming so much

AbbaRedfernsThere aren’t any figures on the popularity of Abba on streaming sites yet.

New figures show that almost 80% of sales from recorded music in Sweden comes directly from online streaming and paid downloads are almost irrelevant, financially.

Even the revenue from CDs and vinyl eclipses sales from downloads like iTunes.

The Swedes are all about streaming, all the time, it turns out.

There is a difference between the revenue generated from music and people’s actual music-buying behaviour — you can spend less by buying music once that you can own forever than buying a subscription that repeats every month. Nonetheless, the data is so stark that it shows a dramatic shift in music listening behaviour in Sweden.

The Swedes love streaming, basically.

Music Business Worldwide published updated data from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. It measures sales gained from recorded music in Sweden in 2014 — and the results are dramatic.

Almost 80% of revenue from recorded music comes from streaming sites, an overwhelming majority.

Here’s a chart from the IFPI data that shows the breakdown of recorded music income in Sweden:

Downloading music simply isn’t popular in Sweden. The IFPI says that downloads account for just 3.8% of the market – a tiny percentage.

The statistics are even more dramatic when you drill down to just digital music sales. Streaming is even bigger there – accounting for 95% of sales, compared to just 5% for downloads.

Unsurprisingly, Sweden is a hotbed for music streaming sites and apps. Spotify started life in the country, and SoundCloud is also headquartered there.

WiMP, the streaming service that Jay Z is buying, is just next door in Norway.

Norway is also a huge market for music streaming. Another IFPI study revealed that piracy has collapsed in the country, with the IFPI seeing a 76% drop in people claiming to download music. Streaming services have been credited as being behind the drop, as listeners are now choosing to pay a monthly subscription to sites like Spotify instead of illegally downloading music.

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