You’ve titled this week’s conference ‘The Future of the Streaming Economy: Scandinavia as a Case Study’ – what is the reasoning for the title? What knowledge garnered on the Scandinavian market could be disseminated to the North American one?
– Simply put, one can easily come to believe that you’re living in the future here in Scandinavia when it comes to how streaming models and the market function and have evolved since Spotify (and later Wimp / Tidal) launched back in 2008 – the new digital reality is really functional here in Scandinavia. Still, a great deal of work remains to be done for the industry to come up with a distribution scheme within the framework of this model that can be perceived as fair for everyone.
In Bjelland’s view, the US streaming market still has some ways to go to catch up with Scandinavia:
– It’s as if the world’s largest and most influential music market, the US one, is still lagging three to four years behind Scandinavia. The discussions that have been held over here this autumn are reminiscent of what was being debated at (Oslo music industry convention/showcase festival) by:Larm years ago. The aim of the conference is therefore to discuss relevant streaming-related issues seen in a Scando/US perspective.
– To actualize these topics over here, it is vital to have a basic understanding of how the US market is built up. In my experience, I see that several Norwegian companies have much to learn about how this market actually functions. If we are to compare ‘our’ streaming market to the US one, with services such as Pandora and ITunes Radio, we’ll soon come to realize that the picture is more complex than one can easily believe. A thorough understanding of the US radio-reality, both in a historic perspective as well in a contemporary digital one, is a prerequisite for introducing our Scandinavian visions, ideas and models over here.
Bjelland is keen to emphasize that trying to recreate the Scandinavian streaming model on the US market might not be the right path to follow:
– This conference is not another Viking raid – it is much more about dialogue and reflection over these issues and the thinking that goes behind it. In reverence, I believe that it can be a bit naïve to assume that one can implement the Scandinavian streaming models quickly and efficiently on the US market, regardless of how fast broadband penetration is expanded and how much Spotify leverages.
– Those of us who have spent much time over here and been active in the market, are now witnessing fantastic opportunities unfolding for Norwegian companies that have ambitions for the US market. Still, success depends on knowledge, a solid network, and, not least, presence over time.
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