Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

The Swedish Model

Posted by wilscott1 on October 31, 2016

Before reading this article, I was pretty much against pirating music. As in, I’m not going to do it, but I’m not going to judge others for doing it. However, I now see that there is a whole other side to this issue. There are many people in Sweden, including the artists themselves, that approve of pirating.

These artists see pirating as a way of making the media they produce more spreadable (if it doesn’t spread, it’s dead). I think this quote summarizes that idea in an interesting way: “…Thörnkvist put it when addressing the music industry audience at MIDEMNet, “I’d rather have one million listeners and one hundred buyers than one hundred listeners and one hundred buyers…”.

Some bands have found more success because of this than they would have had otherwise. For example, one Swedish band, called The Embassy, made a limited-edition single that they auctioned off eBay. This generated a decent profit, as well as publicity for the band.

This model also has some disadvantages. Few musicians make a lot of money. Many have second jobs to support themselves. There’s also room for disappointment and exploitation. However, not everyone sees these things as entirely negative.

The musicians that follow this model are doing it because they are in the music business for the right reasons. They truly care about what they are creating, and about their audience. They aren’t in it for the money or the fame or the glory. They may be idealists, but I think there is at least a little bit of honor in what they are doing.


One Response to “The Swedish Model”

  1. holly1519 said

    I can see both sides to this argument. Musicians want to make money but $1.29 on iTunes is a little steep. If it comes down to choosing, i think that if a musician is really passionate about what they do they would rather gain listeners than money. So i agree with Thörnsvist. A simple solution to this problem would be going back to the good old days when songs were only 69 cents on iTunes!

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