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Population: 5 700 000

GDP per capita: $52,822

The Kingdom of Denmark comprises of the mainland country as well as the sovereign constitute countries of the Faroe Islands and Greenland in the North Atlantic. Denmark has a very strong domestic music market with a publicly supported live sector (with many successful festivals such as Roskilde), significant digital penetration (including a high uptake of streaming services) and a high level of music education.

Danish acts who have broken internationally include Mew, Volbeat, D.A.D. and The Raveonettes.

State support of the live market allows homegrown artists to develop internally before they head out to the international markets – making Denmark – and Copenhagen especially – one of Scandinavia’s most important hubs for electronic and alternative pop music. Lately, despite the country’s relatively small size, the structure of the industry has started to look more and more like the British or German industries.

38% of the Danish industrys total revenues (DKK 2.625m) derives from recorded music. Streaming income currently accounts for around 25% of that total – with 11% from physical sales and 8% from downloads (the total also include royalties from radio and TV licensing). (Source: Rambøll: Dansk Musikomsætning). So it is very clear that Denmark is a streaming nation.

At DKK 3.901m, total revenues from the live music sector are somewhat bigger – with approximately 42% apportioned to ticket sales.

Labels, Distribution and Licensing

Denmark follows the trend among the other Nordic countries when it comes to recorded music. From 2013 to 2014, the revenue from CD sales and downloads decreased dramatically by 27.6% and 36.1% respectively; whereas streaming revenues increased by 50.5%. Consequently, the digital share of recorded revenues have continued to grow steadily – pushing the overall net worth of the Danish music industry upwards.

According to 2014 IFPI data, streaming services account for a 74.3% rise (a rise of 134% since 2010) of the entire recorded music market (streaming, downloads and physical formats) – and 2014 seems to have been the year when Danes switched to streaming services en masse. In that period, vinyl saw a tiny upswing – increasing from 1.3% to 1.7% of the market.

Out of the total revenue for recorded music sales in Denmark, 42.7% derives from Danish acts – a decrease compared to previous years (it was 48.5% in 2013). One reason for this might be a lack of big releases from Danish acts during 2014. Typically, the international share of the market is around 50%.

Record Labels
The three international major labels Universal, Sony and Warner Music all have offices in Copenhagen.

Bigger Danish indie labels and distributors include:

Pop rock and metal
A:larm Music

No 3
Copenhagen Records
Bad Afro Records
Crunchy Frog
Iceberg Records
The Being Music

Barefoot Records
ILK music
Cowbell Music

Minimum Recordings
Machinedrops Productions
Dynamight Music

Here you can find an extensive list of most Danish record labels, big and small.


Out of the big international publishers, Warner/Chappell is represented in Copenhagen. Sony ATVand Universal Music Publishing both have their respective Nordic offices in Stockholm, Sweden.

In addition to the majors, there are several native independent publishers with good connections to the Danish entertainment and film industry. Some of the bigger domestic indie labels also have their own publishing departments.

The publisher’s role is increasingly shifting towards becoming somewhat of manager for songwriters, rather than “just” a publisher.


Warner/Chappell Music Denmark
Apollo Live Aps
The Bank
Co:Star Music Publishing
Crunchy Tunes
Good Songs Publishing A/S
Iceberg Publishing
Lifted Publishing ApS
No C!gar
Nordic Music Society ApS
Panam Publishing
T. G. Publishing ApS
Tigerspring Publishing
Turner Music International

Performance Rights

Collection of royalties and performance rights to songwriters go through Koda, the Danish performance rights organisation. Koda is well connected to other collection societies in the music industry and particularly those from the other Nordic territories.


Despite Denmark’s relatively small size, the country has a number of notable independent management companies – some of which are combined with a label or booking agency. It is quite common even for smaller Danish bands to have a manager.

Danish management companies include:
Heartbeat Music
Instant Major
The Bank
Shine Music
3rd Tsunami
Dynamight Music
Casino Records
Enough Said Music
Prime Collective
Vuf Empire
PDH Music
PFM Music
Smash! Bang! Pow!


The Danish live market is publicly supported by the government. As a result, there is a network of regional venues with audience development responsibilities that allow smaller acts to play professional shows. Additionally, there is an industry-wide agreement on artists fees.

Due to Denmark’s relatively small size, touring is quite accessible with short distances between towns. However, since large parts of the country consist of islands separated by water, fees must be paid to cross some of the bigger bridges.

The country also hosts many popular festivals, the biggest of which include Smukfest in Skanderborg, NorthSide Festival in Århus, Copenhell Festival in Copenhagen and Roskilde Festival in Roskilde, 30 min. by train from Copenhagen.

Bremen Teater
Amager Bio
Copenhagen Jazzhouse
Global Copenhagen
Huset KBH
Koncerthuset (DR)
Spillestedet Stengade



Slagelse Musikhus
Studenterhus Odense
Studenterhuset Aalborg

Danmarks Smukkeste Festival
Alive Festival
Tønder Festival
Samsø Festival
Nibe Festival
Jelling Musikfestival
Gutter Island Garagerock Festival

Booking Agencies
Live Nation is represented in Copenhagen and only books international bands. The biggest native promoters and bookers are Skandinavian and Beatbox booking – although Skandinavian occasionally books international acts. ICO Concerts is one of the biggest promoters in the Nordic region and is responsible for many shows by international artists in and around Scandinavia.

Danish booking agencies include:

3rd Tsunami
Off Beat
Heartbeat Music
Alive Music
Beatbox Booking
Bobkat Agency
Copenhagen Music
Gearbox Agency
ICO Concerts
Live Nation
PDH Music
Smash! Bang! Pow!
Vuf Empire

Media, PR and Promotion

Print and Online
The main print magazine for music is Gaffa, which is published in all three Scandinavian countries (translated by language). Another important Danish magazine is Soundvenue. Both are widely read by music consumers and are seen as the main publications for Danish and international music as well as the music industry. All print magazines have online editions.

Relevant music, culture and lifestyle outlets include:

iByen by Politiken (Copenhagen only)

Major newspapers also cover culture and music, especially festivals. The biggest national newspapers are:

Berlingske Tidende
Extra-Bladet (tabloid)
Dagbladet Information

There are a couple of Danish music blogs, but they generally have a very small impact on the market. Most big international blogs are well-known and read.


All Scandinavian

The most popular radio station for new music is P3, which is owned and run by public broadcasting company DR (Danmarks Radio). Another relevant radio station is P6 Beat, which is also public but smaller, and focuses on contemporary, alternative and niche genres.

PR Companies
The media field in Denmark is relatively small and it is not unusual for PR work to be undertaken in-house. However, there are several promo-agencies to choose from should you be in need of external PR services:

BobKat Agency PR
Smash! Bang! Pow!
Prime Collective
Shine Music

Networking Arenas

Spot festival – April/May
The most important networking and showcase event in Denmark is Spot festival in Århus. Spot festival has been arranged every year since 1995, currently around April and May. The three-day festival attracts most of the Danish industry and several international delegates from the Nordic countries and the rest of Europe, especially Germany. Rock, pop and electronic music are all well represented, but there are no official restrictions.

When Copenhell Freezes Over – January
As a part of the run-up to Copenhell Festival, a showcase called When Copenhell Freezes Over is arranged in January for rock and metal music. The first festival was arranged in 2015 and showcased mostly Danish artists.

Spot on Denmark
Music Export Denmark ans the Danish Rock Council (ROSA) arrange Spot on Denmarkshowcases and meet and greet events several times a year all over Europe, usually at bigger industry events. These events might serve as a good platform for meeting Danish industry professionals.


Value-added Tax
As Denmark is a member of the European Union, B2B-trade between businesses eligible to pay VAT is generally tax free inside of the EU. With B2B-trade, it is the responsibility of the buyer to pay VAT according to the buying country’s laws. However, the buyer is allowed to apply for a refund when submitting their taxes, which makes the transaction practically tax-free. When selling to consumers, tax is collected by the country of the provider.

The standard and only VAT-rate for Denmark is 25%. Invoicing a promoter for a music performance is VAT-free, although entrance tickets and records are not.

Selling copyrights is subject to VAT.

If your business is domiciled outside of the EU it is possible to apply for a refund on the VAT when purchasing goods in Denmark. More information here.

If your income from sales within Denmark is less than DKK 50,000 during any 12 month period then you do not need to register for VAT. However, if you exceed that sum you should register for VAT at skat.dk. You can find more information here.

It is recommended that you check best practices with your local tax authorities and your accountant.

Income tax
If you are an EU or EEA citizen and stay in Denmark for six months or more then you are eligible to pay tax. The tax system for individuals on payroll is quite complex and includes a labour market contribution and municipal taxes, as well as health and social security contributions.

It is very likely that a performing artist will be regarded as a receiver of a fee by the tax authorities rather than as an individual on payroll – especially if the payments or the work/performance doesnot take place consistently for the same employer. When you are being paid a fee, the same rules apply as for Danish VAT – if it exceeds DKK 50,000 during any twelve-month period you should contact Skat.

It is recommended that you check best practices with your local tax authorities and your accountant.

Sources and more information:





This road map is taken from http://nordictravelpass.com/roadmaps/

(Foto: Anna Gambardella/Freeimages.com)


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