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!
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%.
- NRK P1
- NRK P2
- NRK P3
- NRK P13
- NRK mP3
- Radio Norge
- 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)
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:
- Klassisk Musikkmagasin (Classical/contemporary)
- 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. Below is a selection of each genre’s main events:
- Øya Festival
- Tons of Rock
- Notodden Blues Festival
- Inferno Metal Festival
- Girl Interrupted
- Vill Vill Vest
- Trondheim Calling
- Kongsberg Jazz Festival
- Molde International Jazz Festival
- Oslo Jazz Festival
- Førde Folk Music Festival
- Oslo World Music Festival
- Bergen International Festival
- ICMF International Chamber Music Festival Stavanger
- Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival
- Oslo Chamber Music Festival
- St. Olav Festival
- Oslo International Church Music Festival
- Risør Chamber Music Festival
- Festival of North Norway
- Trondheim Chamber Music Festival
Venues: A selection of the main venues of Norway’s seven largest cities:
- Oslo Spektrum
- Rockefeller/John Dee/Sentrum Scene
- Nasjonal Jazzscene/Victoria
- Riksscenen – the Norwegian Hub for Traditional Music and Dance
- Telenor Arena
- USF Verftet
- Blå Rock
- Checkpoint Charlie
- Stavanger Konserthus
- Dama Di
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:
- The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
- The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
- The Trondheim Symphony Orchestra
- Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra
- The Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra
- Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
- Norwegian Radio Orchestra
The Norwegian opera scene is spearheaded by Oslo’s Norwegian National Opera, which stages large and smaller operas at its spectacular icebergesque opera house by the capital’s waterfront.
- The Norwegian National Opera
- Bergen National Opera
- The Arctic Opera
- Operaen i Kristiansund
- Opera Nordfjord
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.
- Oslo Concert Hall
- Stavanger Concert Hall
An overview of Norway’s Cultural Houses, sorted county-wise can be found here:
• All Things Live
• United Stage Norway
• Polar Artist
• FKP Scorpio Norge
• Ramble On
• Standing Ovation
• Live Nation
• Vibe Agency
• Radar Booking
• Nordic Live
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.
Music Industry Networking Arenas
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.
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 major label sector is represented by IFPI Norway .
- Border Music Norway
- The Orchard
- Little Big Sister
- Miss Fixit
- Killer Inc
- Bakke Consulting
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.
• Trondheim Calling 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 is an independent song camp in Bergen in april.
• 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.
• Oslo Recordings
• Arctic Rights Management
• Warner/Chappell Music Norway
• Norsk Musikkforlag
• Norsk Noteservice
• Musikk-Husets Forlag
• Lyche Musikkforlag
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.
• Little Big Sister
• Circle Management
• Plexus Management
• Artist Vision
• Compro AS
• Hedline Arts
• Classical Management
• Pro Arte
- Rainbow Studio
- Propeller Music Division
- Saga Studio
- Nidaros Studio
- Ocean Sound Recordings
- Zweidorff Studio
- Whiteroom Studio