Norwegian musicians' income goes up by 66% 1999-2009, while record sales decline by 50%

Espen writes: "A recent study of the Norwegian music industry has found that over the 10 year period from 1999 to 2009, the average income of music artists has increased (inflation-adjusted) by 66%, while record sales has halved. The reason is that income from concerts, collection agencies and public stipends has increased to more than make up the shortfall - and since record sales only pay, on average, 15% to the artist, the shortfall in record sales does not afflict them as much. The study suggests that record companies will become less important as an avenue to stardom - and that artists will have to take more responsibility for their own marketing."
* Income from concerts has increased, on average, 136% from 1999 to 2009
* Income from collection organizations such as TONO, Gramo and others has increased 108% from 1999 to 2009
* stipends and other supports from the government has increased 154% from 1999 to 2009
* The number of registered active musicians has increased by about 28% during this period
* All figures have been adjusted for inflation.
Record companies lose, artists gain (Thanks, Espen!)


  1. The message that artists seem to be taking away is that regardless of marketing, the Norwegian taxpayer will help their standard of living. They are helping out to the tune of $25m USD/year, according to the report. That’s a quarter of the concert revenue, which is $100M dollars.

  2. I’m a record exec with an overinflated sense of self worth and a shitty, archaic business model and what is this?

  3. And what was the last monster Norwegian hit you listened to?

    What they don’t tell you is they don’t really get compensated in kroner. They get paid in Lutefisk

    1. The majority of the music export from Norway is well below the mainstream radar. Norwegian black metal is the standard to which all other is measured.

  4. Honestly I’d wager it has a lot more to do with the higher quality of life in Norway and that people have more disposable income over there.

    After I pay rent, utilities, food, and childcare, you think I have 15 bucks to piss away on a Compact Disc?

    Or a hundred bucks to go to a concert?

    The idea that if you stop music pirating people will just go back to paying for music is absurd . . . people stopped paying for music when they stopped having money!

    1. $100 for a show? Seriously? I guarantee you there’s an awesome band who’s driving through your town tonight who will play a show in your basement tonight in exchange for a plate of food and some floor to sleep on.

      1. Dude, you’re throwing a basement show tonight?! I’ll give you 5 bucks to let me in. Oh, and 5 for the band. I’ll probably want to buy some beer from you too (plus tip). Will they have shirts to prove I was there and heard the band before they “sold out”? I heard about the show, so I downloaded some of their stuff, big fan!

        /New business model

    2. Norwegian music is largely an export commodity so the issue of the level of disposable income in Norway is moot.

  5. @Unmutual

    Norway is exceptionally expensive even by western European standards (most expensive country I can think of actually) and its citizens are very heavily taxed. Good quality of life perhaps but they don’t have massive amounts of disposable income relative to the most of the rest of the western world.

    Quite a few people don’t spend money on CDs but spend them on gigs. Including myself, I’ve bought a grand total of three CDs in the last year but have probably been to around ten gigs.

    Also, $100 gigs? The usual range for the gigs I go to is £10-20, which works out at maybe $15-30 (roughly, maybe slightly more), the most expensive one I ever considered going to was £40, which is around $50. I doubt that gigs in America are twice the price as in the UK, given that the USA’s usually a much cheaper country than pretty much anywhere in western Europe.

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