From dire straits to money for nothing

Music branch making money for the first time in over a decade

After years of continuously losing the war against digitisation and internet music pirates, the Danish music industry was in the black last year for the first time in 13 years, and the trend looks set to continue in 2015.

A new study shows that creative industries – including music – are expanding and actually employing more people than many hard goods industries like auto manufacturing. 

Bigger than Ford
The creative industry, measured in terms of jobs, is the third largest in Europe with 7,000,000 employees – 2.5 times as many as the automotive industry.

“It is a pleasant surprise,” Claus Bülow Christensen, the development director at Zibra Digital Media Group and an expert in digital technology, told Politiken.

“It is especially gratifying they are doing well after years of listening to their whining against digital development for nearly 20 years. It has taken them an amazingly long time to adapt to the new times.”

From destroyer to saviour
Ironically, it was the digital monster that the record companies spent so much time fighting that contributed greatly to the growth. Danes jumped onto streaming services like Spotify and WiMP.

In the first half of 2014, 63 percent of record company revenue came from streaming services. Just two years ago, the proportion was 24 percent. 

Streaming along
Streaming is finally beginning to offset the decline in CD sales, which today account for only 15 percent of revenue.

READ MORE: Streaming music massive in Scandinavia

The positive development stretched into other creative areas like movies, books, games, media and advertising throughout Europe, but Denmark continues to lag behind in some areas.

“The conservatism and denial of digital realities, which we saw in the music industry, has never stopped for film, television and books,” said Christensen.

“Denmark is still two to three years behind US giants like Netflix, but consumers are ready and curious about new technology and would gladly pay subscriptions. It should not be that difficult to find models.”