Behind the music

Gain invaluable insight to the Nordic music scene through the recently published Nordic Industrial fund financed research report "Behind the Music - Profiting from sound: A systems approach to the Dynamics of the Nordic Music Industry".

Nordic Industrial Fund - Centre for innovation and commercial development

Never before has such an extensive research work been carried out to map the Nordic music industry. Researchers from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway have established an impressive basis of information that provides extensive insight to the Nordic music scene. The researchers have compiled statistic material that determines key industry developments in the form of various basic indicators such as the numbers of employees and firms, sales and market values etc. Assessment of major trends within the Nordic music industry has also been a focal point for the “Behind the Music” report. Additional information on various supporting institutions, industry organisations and associations, educational programmes and governmental policies relevant to the music industry provides the reader with important knowledge of the structure of each individual Nordic country’s music scene.

The report presents the main findings from a Nordic Industrial fund financed research project, “Behind the Music”, that focused on the industrial dynamics of the Nordic popular music industry. The project, which took place between April 2002 to March 2003, involved 11 researchers drawn from the five Nordic countries that were the subject for the report. Each of the five teams mapped out and measured the scale of the industries in their countries. Each team also carried out additional case studies based on selected themes that were seen as vital to gain a thorough understanding of the Nordic music industry.

The “Behind the Music” report identifies several key findings characteristic of the Nordic Music scene:

There is a clear lack of skills and knowledge co-ordination within the Nordic music industry. The level musical and artistic skill is very high throughout the Nordic, but this level is not matched by complementary business skill.

The Nordic music industry is split between highly concentrated and powerful multinational corporations and numerous, relatively small-scale independent companies. While this division can serve to create a competitive and dynamic business environment, it can also cause fragmentation and a splitting of the industry, thus reducing the companies’ competitiveness and innovative ability.

There’s also a lack of adequate integration of business development policies within the cultural policies in the public sector. A better co-ordination and integration between cultural and business policy towards the music industry is needed.

The existing strengths and competencies within the industry need to be co-ordinated in a better fashion.

Third-level educational programmes focusing on the music industry need to be supported.

It is vital to support the establishment of national umbrella organisations that link various organisations representing the music industry.

The Norwegian contribution to the project report has been prepared by Markus M. Bugge and Johan Hauknes who represent STEP – Centre for Innovation Research - a division of SINTEF Industrial Management.

Editor of the “Behind the Music” report was Dominic Power of Sweden’s Uppsala University.

The full project report, supporting materials, a resource base and a project description is available for download at the STEP site.

More on the Nordic Industrial Fund’s work and its projects can be found here.

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