Sweden is a prosperous market. Its capital Stockholm is undoubtedly Scandinavia’s biggest live center, with Gothenburg and Malmö also very solid music cities. The medium-sized shows have struggled to come back to life since Covid, but arena and stadium events and festivals are thriving, and competition between promoters, ticket sellers and more or less every link in the chain is intense.
Sweden has a slightly different ticket offering than other Scandinavian nations, thanks to the strength of AEG’s AXS, which has the rights to ASM Global’s Stockholm Live stages: Friends Arena, Tele2 Arena, Avicii Arena, Hovet and Annexet, as well as a lot of sports.
“It is very positive that all Covid restrictions have been lifted since last spring and that we are generally experiencing a positive ‘awakening’ in the Scandinavian market.”
Overall, Ticketmaster Sweden is also strong and Eventim Scandinavia exists with its former Biljettforum platform, now Eventim.se.
“It is very positive that all Covid restrictions have been lifted since last spring and that we are generally experiencing a positive ‘awakening’ in the Scandinavian market,” says Jens B. Arnesen, CEO, Eventim Scandinavia. “Many postponed concerts have been held with great success and new big events such as Ed Sheeran create high demand for tickets. But the effects of the war in Ukraine and on inflation are discouraging ticket buyers in some consumer segments.”
DISTRIBUTION OF SALES
Mobile is the watchword in Sweden when the technology begins to keep its persistent promise. “In Sweden, everything is becoming more and more mobile, which people have been talking about for years,” says Jay Sietsema, AXS general manager, Sweden.
“In Sweden, everything is becoming more and more mobile, which people have been talking about for several years”
“In June we had Harry Styles, which was completely sold out, and for the first time it was 100% mobile tickets, with our AXS Mobile ID ticket, which is completely non-transferable except through our resale platform.
“The barcode is renewed all the time, so you can’t print it out and send it to someone. For big artists like Harry or Ed Sheeran who want personal tickets, it’s a big advantage.”
Apart from such mobile innovations, tickets in Sweden are usually digital and print-at-home.
According to the latest figures available, live accounted for SEK 6 billion (€560 million) or 56% of the total Swedish music industry revenue in 2017 [source: Musiksverige]. Local debt collection agencies Stim, SAMI and Copyswede all recorded growth in 2021 versus 2020, and a busy year clearly puts Sweden back on course for full recovery.
In IQ Magazine’s latest [Aug 22] Swedish market focus, promoter Edward Janson of TADC estimated that overall concert ticket sales are currently around 25% to 30% below pre-Covid levels, although the backlog of postponed shows and an appetite for big acts have seen record numbers through the stadium gates, arena and festival shows this summer.
Sweden has a busy secondary market largely powered by Viagogo, but its leading primary ticket sellers also have increasingly dense scalp-safe technology.
INTERNATIONAL / DOMESTIC splits and genres
A report last year from Export Music Sweden showed that Sweden is one of only three net exporters of pop music. The US is first, exporting 4.5 times as much music as it imports, and Sweden is second with an export ratio of 2.7.
The US is first, exporting 4.5 times as much music as it imports, and Sweden is second with an export ratio of 2.7
Concert-wise, Swedish acts like Håkan Hellström and Laleh can fill Gothenburg’s legendary Ullevi stadium, and while many international acts (Ed Sheeran, Rammstein, Bruce Springsteen and others) still do the same – and most serious tours make room for at least one Swedish stop – Sweden is still a very strong market for homegrown music.
Live Nation is still frighteningly strong in Sweden. Its festivals, including Way Out West, Sweden Rock, Summerburst and Lollapalooza, returned with a vengeance in 2022, along with its arena-sized headline shows.
But competition is rising in the form of FKP Scorpio – who will be chalking up ten concerts at the Ullevi stadium this year – and All Things Live, both of whom, like all significant Scandinavian promoters these days, operate across the region.
TAXES & FEES
Concerts end up in Sweden’s lowest tax bracket of 6%. Ticket sellers’ service fees run up to around 8%, although they can be lower, and tend to be included in the advertised ticket price.