Music Industry Barometer 2019: Finnish music industry believes in growth

Music Finland’s new Music Industry Barometer shows that the Finnish music industry believes in the future. Growth is anticipated especially in the live music sector, as well as music export. Despite the optimism, music professionals responding to the survey also indicate concerns about the changes brought by digitalization and structural changes in the industry.

The Music Industry Barometer was now carried out for the second time, with a goal to survey music industry professional’ views on the current state and future prospects of the music industry in Finland. The first barometer survey in 2016 showed similar optimism, but this time the positive attitude was even stronger.  The respondents believed that their own financial situation will improve in the next three years, and the overall economic situation in the music sector was viewed positively too.

Industry sees growth in live music and exports

Growth was anticipated most strongly in the live music sector. Along with the general growth, three quarters of the respondents estimated that live music events will be a more significant employer in the future. The biggest profits were forecast in the large-scale events though, and a vast majority of the music industry were in favour of public support for the marginalized, non-profit events to ensure diversity in live music around Finland.

Since the previous barometer, other sectors have caught up with live music, and now over half of the respondents also predicted growth in synchronisation of music in films, tv spots and games. Many people had also restored their faith in the record industry, and its growth expectations had tripled in three years.

53 per cent of the respondents also believed in the growth of Finnish music export, and the future potential of internationalization was further highlighted in the verbal comment of the barometer.

Digitalization and social security cause concerns

The Finnish music industry expressed clear views in the questions concerning digitalization. Most pointedly, with 97 per cent consensus, the respondents stated that streaming services should have information on composers and musicians too, in addition to artists or groups. Almost 90 per cent were in favour of the user centric model in streaming services, and more than half considered the album format viable also in the future. However, the streaming services’ freemium model had polarized views: 45 per cent were in favour and 45 per cent against the advertising-based model.

The common concerns of Finnish music industry included the social security of the self-employed, as well as the legislation pertaining to digital music services such as streaming services. The uncertainties of income related to digital music services and streaming were mentioned often in the verbal comments, as well as the polarization of the industry to bigger and bigger and to even more marginalized companies and phenomena.

About the survey

Altogether 518 Finnish music professionals or companies from different genres responded to the Music Industry Barometer (available in Finnish and in English). Here, ”music industry” referred to an extensive network of actors engaging in artistic or behind-the-scenes work related to music regardless of genre. The themes brought up in the survey pertained to issues such as the economics of the music sector, structural changes, internationalisation, and the media environment.  The Music Industry Barometer research was conducted by Music Finland in partnership with Gramex, IFPI Finland, IndieCo, the Finnish Music Creators, the Finnish Musicians' Union, the Finnish Music Publishers Association, the Society of Finnish Composers, and Teosto. Read the survey report (in Finnish) here.

Read more about the barometer from the FMQ article "What is the future of the music industry? A view from Finland" by Merja Hottinen.