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GEO FOCUS SCANDINAVIA Nordic Noise


Consistently ranked in the top countries to live in the world, the Scandinavian triumvirate of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway have recently produced some of the most influential technologies and services in the audio industry.


POPULATION: DENMARK –5.6 MILLION NORWAY –5.1 MILLION SWEDEN –9.5 MILLION


WHILE FIRST thoughts of the Northern triumvirate of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark can conjure images of pristine fjords and the mindful design aesthetic that made Ikea the furnishing superpower it is today, the countries could just as equally be recognised for their influential pro-audio industries, which include everything from world- class recording studios to manufacturers of industry-shifting technologies.


In the music industry, Sweden in particular has made its mark by producing artists ranging from ABBA and Ace of Base, to some of the biggest electronic acts of the past few decades (Eric Prydz, Swedish House Mafia, and Avicii, to name a few). Yet, it is not only the musicians themselves that have made their mark on the global audio industry. Spotify, the Sweden-based music streaming service has, since its launch in 2008, fueled the access vs. ownership debate that is ravaging the traditional recording industry model. In its latest annual review, Spotify revealed that 24 million active users


>>> DISTRIBUTOR Denmark’s Matrix Group Appoints new CEO


WHENTHREE of Denmark’s biggest pro-audio players came together to start the Matrix Group in 2011, the ultimate goal was to become a resource that would provide a one-stop shop for the country’s entertainment industry. The group comprises three separate and distinct companies: pro-audio distributor Matrix Sales, which handles distribution in Denmark for Shure, L-Acoustics, Midas, Powersoft, RCF, Klark, DIS, and Proel, among others, servicing everyone from rental companies to


20 January 2014


musicians; Nordic Sales, which is a specialist broker of used audio, video, and lighting equipment that also takes on project sales and installations; and Nordic Staging Systems – a manufacturer and developer of staging systems and barriers. An 18-year veteran of the


Scandinavian pro-audio business, Thomas Christensen joined as CEO of Matrix Group this month after a stint as manager of the audio department at Nordic Rentals, also based out of Denmark.


“Thomas is highly qualified for


the job, has a good knowledge of Matrix Group and the industry as a whole, and I am convinved that he is the right man to take the company forward into the growth plan we have for the future,” commented Matrix Group chairman Claus Reher-Langberg. Christensen takes over as the


group’s leading figure for recently departed CEO Kenneth Bremer, who joined the group in March 2012. www.matrixgroup.dk


www.audiomedia.com


had streamed over 4.5 billion hours of music in 2013 with Daft Punk, Avicii, Robin Thicke, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis making the service’s list of most-played artists.


Yet the company’s quick rise to recognition has not been without its own share of controversy, with many artists outspoken about the low amount being paid out to rights holders.


better long-term… but that’s hard for people to understand.


“All they see is millions of streams and they see, you know, not millions of dollars in the end, but thousands of dollars, and they think that a million streams is compatible to a million downloads, which it obviously isn’t.” The region’s film and TV industries have also seen a sharp rise in popularity over the past few years with


“The move from physical music to digital is the single-biggest shift in the industry since the invention of the recording.” Daniel Ek, Spotify


In an interview with the Wall Street


Journal last summer, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek commented that “[the move from physical music to digital] is the single-biggest shift in the industry since the invention of the recording”, and that “the focus of the artist ought to be how to maximise the number of streams, because that, in turn, will be


Danish crime dramas such as The Bridge and The Killing broadcast internationally, prompting adaptations for US audiences. The film adaptations of Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium Series’ have also achieved critical acclaim internationally with the first film in the series (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) grossing more than


$100 million (£60 million) worldwide. Along with the region’s audio technology companies and content creators, Scandinavia has spawned a number of top pro-audio manufacturers.


Denmark-based DPA Microphones has been in the news lately due to the increased market presence brought about by CEO Christian Poulsen (who famously took Swedish high-end camera brand Hasselblad into the digital era). Since taking over from the company’s founder, Morten Stove, Poulsen has changed DPA’s image, streamlining its branding, and, most recently, striking a deal with global private equity firm The Riverside Company (see news, page 13). Other pro-audio brands from the region that have flourished globally include Danish holding company TC Group, which includes TC Electronic, Tannoy, and Lab.Gruppen, among others.


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