Finnish music export in 2018

In 2018, the market value of Finnish music export amounted to 78.5 million euros, representing a one-third increase as compared to the previous year. 

These gains were especially driven by powerful growth in the field of technology, and reflected in the ”other goods and services” sector (EUR 49.7 million) of music exports, which includes the exporting of audio technology and equipment as well as export revenue from startups utilising music technology and expertise.

Finnish music exports 1999-2018

Live music, recordings, copyrights and other related revenue comprise the key sectors of music exports, and they saw growth of a little over five percent year-on-year. In terms of value, live music exports continued to be the largest sector, totalling 12.8 million euros. The live music sector includes performance fees and other touring income, as well as event tourism, namely ticket sales from abroad for music events in Finland.

The greatest growth (22 percent) was witnessed in copyright-related revenue, converted via Finnish copyright organizations, or paid directly to music-industry businesses. Copyright-related revenue from abroad equalled 5.7 million euros. The yearly revenue varies typically from year to year, but it also reflects the growth in song export and music publishers’ and other rights holders’ licensing revenues.

The value of exported recordings (including streaming) came to 6.5 million euros. Revenues from recording export have remained more or less even over the years. The revenue streams include both physical record sales, digital sales and streaming revenues that the rights holders receive from abroad. In addition, it includes licensing fees for recordings and synchronization.

Appreciable growth was also witnessed in other types of export revenue received by Finnish music exporters, including such items as composition and production fees, sales of sheet music, advertising contracts, and merchandise. These amounted to EUR 3.8 million.

The growth in music exports reflects the changes in the music industry's business models as well as the transition from physical, saleable products towards services and rights. In addition to the rise of streaming and startup companies, this can be witnessed in increased copyright-related and other music-industry revenues. The strength of the key sectors ensures that Finland's music exports stay on a steady upward trajectory in spite of changes.

The main target area for Finnish music export is German-speaking Europe with 24 percent of the overall export. Runners-up are Nordic countries and North America, both with 15 percent share.

In this study, the value of music export is defined as the revenue from other countries than Finland, payed to the companies or taxpayers operating in Finland. The value is based on three main sources: reports by industry organizations, a survey directed at Finnish music companies, as well as expert evaluations by informants in the music industry.

The data was collected by Research Manager Merja Hottinen of Music Finland and by researcher Tuomas Ilmavirta.