Finnish music export in 2020

In 2020, the market value of Finnish music export amounted to 86.7 million euros. The export income from live music dropped severely because of the covid-19 pandemic, but other areas of music export grew as the digital markets strengthened. Overall, the key sectors of music export, including live music, recordings and copyright revenue, declined by 42 percent, whereas other related services grew by a third.
Finnish music export 1999–2020

Because of the pandemic, international touring came to a halt. Accordingly, the export revenue from live music dropped by 75 per cent, amounting to only 3.6 million euros in 2020. 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.

However, music was still consumed digitally, and the value of exported recordings remained in 7.1 million euros. The revenue streams include both physical record sales, digital sales and streaming revenues that the rights holders receive from abroad.

Copyright-related revenue, converted via Finnish copyright organisations, or paid directly to music-industry businesses, amounted to 5.9 million euros in 2020, an increase of 13 percent from the year before. The growth was mainly due to copyright royalties stemming from the previous years, and only partially represents the situation in 2020. However, also Finnish pop song export showed growth in 2020, as songwriters were able to continue their work online.

Other revenue sources include such items as composition and production fees, sales of sheet music, advertising contracts, and merchandise. These amounted to 0.8 million euros in 2020.

For several years running, the biggest success in music exports has been in music-related apps, services and technology, including export revenues from professional audio equipment and start-ups producing digital services. In 2020 the value of exports from this ‘other goods and services’ category totalled 69.4 million euros.

The main target area for Finnish music export is Europe, comprising over three quarters of the overall income. Within Europe, the main market areas are German speaking-Europe with 25 per cent of the overall export, and Nordic countries, with a 16 percent share.

In this study, the value of music export is defined as the revenue from other countries than Finland, paid to the companies or taxpayers operating in Finland. The value is based on three main sources: reports by industry organisations, 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.