Pandemic had major impact on music sector finances and exports

In 2020, the total value of the music industry and Finnish music exports underwent major changes due to the coronavirus pandemic. In particular, the economic value of live music collapsed both domestically and internationally, which also impacted other sectors. Demand for digital services, on the other hand, increased, as reflected in revenues from recording revenues and digital services. A new record was also set in pop song exports.

Music industry finances and exports underwent major changes in 2020, as indicated by Music Finland’s Financial Survey of the Music Industry in 2020.

The live music field came to a halt worldwide, which made a big dent in both the domestic economy and exports. This also had a major impact on other players in the music industry. However, music was still consumed digitally, which was reflected in growth in Finnish recording revenues and international digital services.

In Finland, the total value of the music industry in 2020 was 779 million euros. The value of live music decreased by 47 percent (by 240 million euros) from the previous year. However, the overall situation was slightly offset by the growth of the recordings market and increased public and private subsidies due to the coronavirus situation. As a whole, the value of the core sectors of the industry – live music, recordings, copyrights and subsidies – fell by about one third.

Digital services deliver on their promise in music exports

The shutdown of music events due the pandemic also impacted Finnish music exports, and live music export revenues fell by three quarters from the previous year. Although the situation also affected other sectors, exports of recordings based on digital markets remained at a positive level, as did copyright revenues, which follow market fluctuations on a delayed basis. Altogether these core areas of music brought 17.3 million euros in revenue to Finland in 2020.

Exports of music-related digital services and technology, which have shown great growth potential for several years, continued to rise during the pandemic year, while exports of other music goods and services increased overall by one third.

All in all, the value of music exports in 2020 was 86.7 million euros, about six per cent more than in the previous year.

“While it was almost impossible to hold concerts in the midst of Covid restrictions, music has been widely consumed throughout the pandemic period. This speaks to the enormous importance of Finnish music in exceptional circumstances and strengthens the idea of ​​its market demand and creates faith in the future for the industry. The importance of good music never fades,” says Music Finland Executive Director Kaisa Rönkkö.

Future opportunities in many sectors

Pandemic closures have continued to severely hamper music operations and exports in 2021, and current estimates suggest that domestic music losses will be on the same scale as in 2020. The difficult export situation has also continued and the international live music market is just beginning to re-open.

There are positive views as well. According to a study published during the summer, Finnish pop song exports continued to grow during the pandemic year, reaching a new record, while new success stories have emerged. Active international collaborations have continued remotely, and the growth in the number of creators and networks stokes faith in the future.

“The coronavirus pandemic has hit the music industry and exports hard, and everyone has had to do a tremendous amount of work to keep the industry alive. If the industry gets the investments it needs now, all this work will spur a new upswing,” says Rönkkö.

The data for the Financial Survey of the Music Industry in 2020, published today, was collected by Research and Development Manager Merja Hottinen of Music Finland and researcher Tuomas Ilmavirta. Merja Hottinen compiled the report.

Music exports were divided according to the established procedure, based on music business practices in these core categories: live music, recordings, copyrights, other export revenue, and other goods and services.

Link to the full report (in Finnish).

For more information:

Kaisa Rönkkö
Executive Director, Music Finland
+358 (0)40 8674216

Merja Hottinen
Research and Development Manager, Music Finland
+358 50 3477549