To see the future of music, look to Scandanavia. Streaming services helped the Swedish recorded music market grow 13.8% to over 943 million Swedish kronor ($144.8 million) in 2012, according to IFPI Sweden figures released Friday.
Digital revenue accounted for 64% of total recorded music revenue, up 12% from 2011. Streaming services such as Spotify accounted for 90% of all digital revenues, up from 82% in 2011. CD sales declined 15%.
Scandinavia is where the music industry's vision for the future is best taking shape. The gains seen in Sweden are similar to 8% gain in 2012 the IFPI Norway just announced. Both markets are being led by subscription services such as Spotify and getting more than enough growth from subscription revenues to offset losses in CD sales.
There's one good reason subscription services perform so well in Sweden: the country is the home of Spotify. But Sweden also has Deezer, WiMP, Rdio, Sony's Music Unlimited, Xbox Music and Rara.com. Norway has those services, too.