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Record sales boom in Sweden
[January 20, 2010]

Record sales boom in Sweden

Jan 20, 2010 (The Swedish Wire - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Sales of records increased in Sweden -- for the first time in a decade.

Recorded music sales in Sweden posted a big turnaround last year as sales were up 10.2 percent -- the first increase since 2000 -- figures from IFPI showed.

Digital sale doubled and accounted for 16 percent of total sale. Physical CD albums sales managed a 1.9 percent increase and accounted for 80 percent of total industry revenues.

The revitalization of record company sales can be explained by the combination of Sweden's new "Ipred" copyright law, which is paving the way for legal action, and better legal alternatives such as services from mobile phone operators and popular streaming services such as Spotify.

"I think the main reason for the increase in revenue is the availability of better legal services," said IFPI's Swedish chairman Ludvig Werner.

Streaming services such as Spotify accounted for 46 percent of all legally downloaded music last year, up from 17 percent 2008.

In addition, the founders of notorious file-sharing site The Pirate Bay were found guilty of contributory copyright infringement and sentenced to prison.

Still, Mans Svensson, PhD in Sociology of Law Lund University, said the industry should be cautious.

"I do not think we should exaggerate the effect. In our studies, we see that there are many who still share files. But it mostly affects the sales of physical copies where there has been a very small increase," he the newspaper Metro.

Irish rock band U2's frontman Bono wrote in a column in The New York Times File-sharing sites and internet providers turning a blind eye to piracy are a menace to all young up-and-coming artists and songwriters. He called for tighter piracy controls as file-sharing sites and internet provider benefit from "reverse Robin Hooding".

Research from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm shows that earlier statements about the devastating effects by illegal piracy, claiming that the Swedish music sector has lost 60 percent of its turnover, are simply false. Despite the rise of illegal downloading, Swedish artists make 35 percent more money today than in 2000.

Last year become the biggest ever year for UK singles, according to recorded music body the BPI.

To see more of The Swedish Wire or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2010, The Swedish Wire, Stockholm Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email, call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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