Roadmap to Norway
Norway’s domestic music market has gained international attention over the last few years, as it has made the successful transition to a nearly total digital marketplace. Get to know the Norwegian music industry!
Written by Tina Brodal 29.09.2022
Norway’s domestic music market has gained international attention over the last few years, as it has made the successful transition to a nearly total digital marketplace. In 2012, revenues from downloads and streaming services surpassed for the first time in history physical revenues. This trend has continued and in 2018 digital sales (streaming and downloads) accounted for 91 per cent of the sales in recorded music. Total turnover on the Norwegian recorded music market in 2018 amounted to NOK 740 million.
Official name: Kongeriket Norge / Kingdom of Norway
Population : 5 338 212 (2019)
Capital : Oslo, 673,469.
- Bergen, 278 121
- Trondheim, 190 464
- Stavanger, 130 754
- Kristiansand, 90 562
- Fredrikstad, 80 977
- Sandnes, 78 624
- Tromsø, 72 681
Country code : +47
Timezone : UTC+1, UTC+2 (summer)
Official language : Norwegian (Bokmål, Nynorsk), Samisk (Nord-, sør-, lulesamisk)
Valuta : Norwegian kroners (NOK)
BNP per person : 69 296 USD
How many social media users?
- Facebook 65.34%
- Pinterest 14.98%
- Twitter 7.27%
- Instagram 6.81%
- YouTube 2.27%
- reddit 1.79%
(Source: Statcounter October 2021)
Active internet users : 96,51%
Active smartphone users : 73,2%
Recorded music : 71 005 220 USD
Digital/physical : 91% / 9%
TV broadcasting is dominated by public broadcaster NRK – the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation which has a market share of 39 per cent (2014) with its three channels (NRK1, NRK2 and NRK3/NRKSuper). Trailing behind is commercial broadcaster TV2 with a market share of 28,7% with its five channels. TV Norge is third on the list with its 8,1% share of the market.
NRK is also dominant on the radio waves. On average, the public broadcaster had a listener base of 69 per cent of the total population in 2016. Coming in on second is the commercial station P4 which has a 18 per cent stake in the market while Radio Norge is third with its 8%.
- National Rap Show
- Spillerom (Classical/Contemporary)
- Jazzklubben (Jazz)
- Jungeltelegrafen (folk/traditional/world)
A quartet of music-specific sites that focus on album reviews, festival reports, artist interviews and live reviews:
- Lydskrift (contemporary/classical)
- Lydgalleriet (contemporary/classical)
- ballade.no (industry news/reviews)
- Klassisk musikk (contemporary/classical)
Akersgata, the Norwegian equivalent to Fleet Street, encompasses several dailies that feature album reviews, festival reports and, to some extent, artist inteviews:
A string of niche-oriented, high-quality music magazines have a loyal user base in Norway and cover their respective genres thoroughly:
- Jazznytt (Jazz)
- Scream Magazine (metal, hardcore)
- Metal Hammer (metal, hardcore)
- Blues News (blues)
It has been said that every little Norwegian town and village has its own festival. From May to September more than 200 festivals are staged throughout the country.
Music Norway collaborates with many of the festivals to host international delegateprorgams to connect the Norwegian music industry with international music industry and press.
Below is a selection of each genre’s main events:
Festivals & networking
- Øya Festival (+professional delegate program)
- Tons of Rock (+professional delegate program)
- Notodden Blues Festival
- Inferno Metal Festival (+professional delegate program)
- Ruller hardt
Conferences & festivals with professional delegate programs:
- by:Larm (Oslo)
- Vill Vill Vest (Bergen)
- Trondheim Calling (Trondheim)
- Sørveiv (Kristiansand)
If you want to know more about the international delegate programs for music industry & press, contact Karoline.
Most of these festivals also host international delegate programs for music industry & press, contact Aslak if you want to know more.
These festivals also host international delegate programs for music industry & press, contact Aslak if you want to know more.
- Bergen International Festival (+professional delegate program)
- ICMF International Chamber Music Festival Stavanger
- Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival (+professional delegate program)
- Oslo Chamber Music Festival
- St. Olav Festival
- Oslo International Church Music Festival
- Borealis (+professional delegate program)
- Risør Chamber Music Festival
- Festival of North Norway
- Trondheim Chamber Music Festival
If you want to know more about the international delegate programs for music industry & press, contact Einar.
Music Norway work close with festivals in many different genres to host international delegate programs
Oslo’s by:Larm is widely regarded as one of the Nordic music scene’s premier networking arenas and showcasing festivals. The event is staged annually mid-February in Oslo and features a wealth of showcases with Nordic bands and performers, seminars, meeting arenas and creative networking sessions.
Øya International is the Oslo festival’s programme for its foreign delegates and offers a tailored package for the participants with exclusive concerts, networking sessions and social events.
Folkelarm is the Norwegian folk/trad/world music scene’s premier meeting point and showcasing festival. Held at Oslo’s Riksscenen – the Norwegian Hub for Traditional Music and Dance, the showcase festival also features seminars and networking arenas for domestic as well as international folk music execs.
The Norwegian contemporary music scene’s main festival is without doubt the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival. The festival also features a tailored programme for its invited foreign delegates.
Vill Vill Vest is a music festival showcasing Norwegian artists at Bergen's most established venues. In addition to the concerts, the music organization Brak presents an extensive seminar program for promoters, artists and the music industry.
Trondheim Calling is an annual music conference and music festival situated smack in the middle of Norway.
A selection of the main venues of Norway’s seven largest cities:
Orchestras, operas, concert halls & Cultural Houses
Norway’s five largest cities sport a symphony orchestra of their own with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra fronting a strong sector that is active at home and abroad:
In addition to the established conventional concert halls in the country’s main cities, Norway has app. 115 publicly funded cultural houses in cities and municipalities throughout the country.
An overview of Norway’s Cultural Houses, sorted county-wise can be found here:
According to the 2018 IFPI Norway’s Annual Report, international repertoire accounted for a 80 per cent stake of the market. Sales of physical units made up for no more than 10 per cent of overall turnover in 2018, with digital downloads generating 2 per cent and streaming services 89 per cent of total revenue. Recorded music generated a turnover of 741 mNOK, where streaming accounted for 656 mNOK, which amounts to 89 per cent of the total turnover. Turnover from sales of physical units in 2018 ended at a value of 70 mNOK while digital downloads and streaming services generated 671 mNOK. 76 per cent of the Norwegian population listens to music at least an hour per day, and they use streaming services frequently.
Record labels & distribution
The Norwegian independent record label sector is represented by Fono – the Norwegian Independent Record Producers Association.
- Rune Grammfon
- Smalltown Supersound
- Indie Recordings
- Fysisk Format
- Jansen Plateproduksjon
- Sofa Music
- Full Pupp
- Petroleum Records
- Riot Factory
- Aurora (contemporary/classical)
- Simax (contemporary/classical)
- LAWO (contemporary/classical)
- Karisma/Dark Essence
- Propeller Recordings
- Oslo Records
- Playground Music Norway
- MTG Music
- Full Effekt Records
- Vibbefanger Records
- Eget Selskap
Norway’s publishing sector is relatively small but still highly active. Annual turnover for the sector is estimated to app. 100mNOK. The publishing sector is represented by its interest organisation Musikkforleggerne – the Norwegian Music Publishers’ Association.
• SONG:EXPO : The co-writing camp is held annually in late January and attracts international song writers, A&Rs and publishers which are teamed up with domestic writers to create a vibrant meeting point in which leads are provided and songs pitched for markets in the US, Germany, UK and Asia.
• Song Farm was founded in 2010 by Hilde Wahl and Jørn Dalchow who for many years has been part of the Norwegian music industry. The aim of Song Farm is to establish events and venues where Norwegian and international songwriters can meet, write new songs, build networks and get new knowledge. Song Farm is also co-hosting in partnership with Ontrack Studio, a professional camp called «Out Of The Woods» . This Camp is twice a year, in April and September.
• by:Songs takes place in Sandvika and Asker outside Oslo the days before by:Larm conference and music festival.
• Bergen Songs by Brak is an annual songwriting camp that was held for the first time in April 2016. Bergen Songs is an arena where new and established songwriters and producers develop their skill and networks for future expansion of their career.
• Out of the Woods Songwriting Camp have consistently developed unique songwriting camps for new and established Nordic, Scandinavian and international songwriters. The songwriting camps are genre or stylistically specific and offer experienced and developing writers the opportunity to make incredible music and build long lasting connections, networks and careers within the industry.
The Norwegian Music Publishers Association has around 50 members.
Performing Rights/collecting societies
Tono is Norway’s Performing Rights Society and represents more than 22 000 Norwegian rights holders.
Administration of mechanical rights on the Norwegian market is administered by NCB – Nordic Copyright Bureau.
Gramo is the joint collection society in Norway for musicians, performing artists and phonogram producers. Gramo manages and administers the right of performers and producers to receive remuneration when recorded music is being played on the airways or in other public arenas.
NEMAA is the collective voice for music managers and booking agents in Norway.