Finnish music business growing steadily

The total value of Finland’s domestic music sector and its music exports continue to grow steadily. Exports are now being driven by sales of recordings and exports of pop songs among other factors, according to Music Finland’s newly-published financial survey of the music industry in 2016. 

The total value of Finland’s music sector in 2016 was 905 million euros. Live music events played an increasingly important role. Festivals and major concert events in particular gained popularity last year, accounting for nearly 29% of the overall value of the sector. Altogether live music was responsible for more than half of the total value.

Copyright royalties were also up, with their value rising by more than 11% during 2016. Since the previous financial survey of the music industry in 2014, the industry has expanded by about 5.4 percent.

”The positive boost from the live music branch can be seen clearly in this survey. Many festivals have had great success in developing and growing their audiences, while Finnish artists’ arena shows and tours have become an established part of the live music offering,” says Tuomo Tähtinen, Executive Director of Music Finland.

Finnish music exports still growing

Finnish music exports are continuing their upward trend, totalling 45.2 million euros in 2016, up by about three percent from the previous year. Within music exports, sales of recordings and royalties from abroad are growing while live music is slightly declining. German-speaking Europe is the most important target area for Finnish music exports, accounting for 27% of total exports.

”As a result of long-term work, Finnish songwriters and producers have gained a foothold globally. Songs by Axel Ehnström and many others are released by international artists on a regular basis. And the success of Finnish pop artists such as Alma is reflected in the growth of export revenues,” says Riku Salomaa, head of the international team at Music Finland.

Brisk growth in song exports

Also supporting the growth in music exports was the growth in pop song exports, in other words songs by Finnish composers and lyricists created for foreign artists and released abroad, and particularly the emergence of new songwriters in the international field. This trend opens up growth opportunities for Finnish music exports in the coming years in the form of copyright royalties. 

The new survey indicates that song exports are growing briskly. In 2016, a record 71 songs by Finnish composers and lyricists were released overseas. These tracks were created by 41 songwriters, with 22 of them scoring their international debuts.

”There have been quite a few Finnish-composed hits near the top of sales lists and playlists in Britain, Germany and Asia. In other words, the long-term work by Finnish composers and the music publishing sector is paying off. Now we can clearly see that quite many songwriters have international careers in their sights and within reach,” says Music Finland’s Tuomo Tähtinen.

The data for the 2016 financial survey of the music industry, published today, was collected by Music Finland and Jari Muikku at Digital Media Finland Oy. The report was compiled by Music Finland’s Tuomas Ilmavirta. The report brings together various studies that were previously published separately regarding the total value of the Finnish music industry and the market value of music exports. It also reports the latest figures on pop song exports. The survey is based on music business practices in three core categories: live music, recordings and copyrights. It also examines other export revenue and other exports of goods and services, and the role of grants and training in the sector’s total value.

The financial survey of the music industry in 2016 can be viewed here (Finnish only).