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Population: 38 587 820 (2016)
GDP per capita: approx. $25,825 (OECD)
Disposable income per household: approx. $17,820

From the recent political changes, to the fact that is is a significant, emerging economy and geographically located in the center of the continent – Poland is one of the most interesting countries in Europe at this moment in time and one worth paying attention to. The domestic music market has been quite strong for some time as has the import of world-class acts that can headline the major festivals or fill stadiums. It’s only in the last five or six years that the market has opened up to mid- to small-level foreign bands (and Polish bands, for that matter). This also means that there is a marked difference in the ‘old school’ industry (that is more conservative) and the young, up-and-coming generation that is very open to new phenomena, technologies, trends and ways of doing business.

This also means that Poland’s music industry is still developing when it comes to international norms and business practices. Fortunately, Polish industry members are learning quickly, travelling frequently and establishing organizations, companies and partnerships that support the development of the market as a whole.

A few statistics that point to very positive growth in the industry:
– Overall industry measures approx. 25 million euro (20% growth from Q1 205 to Q1 2016)
– Digital sales grew by 13% (⅓ of the market)
– Physical sales grew by 23% (⅔ of the market)
– Vinyl sales grew by 39% and make up 8.3% of physical sales
– Foreign albums make up 41% of the market (15% increase in sales)
– Poland is home to Europe’s largest music festival – Woodstock Festival (approx. 500,000 attendees annually)
– 37% of Poles attended 1 or more concerts in 2014 (over twice as many as visited a museum, gallery or theater)

Record Labels, Licensing & Distribution

There are three major international record labels in Poland: Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music.

There are also lots of indie labels, among them:
Mystic Production (specializing in a very significant foreign catalogue)
Kayax (biggest indie label, responsible for Poland’s current export star, Brodka)
PIAS (just starting to cement a real presence in Poland)
U Know Me
Thin Man Records
Antena Krzyku
ForTune (jazz)


There are only a few publishing companies in Poland.
Sony ATV
Schubert Publishing
Jazzboy Publishing

Performance Rights

Performance rights in Poland are administered by the collecting societies: ZAiKS and STOART.


In Poland a lot of labels offer 360 deals currently so all of them usually offer also management. There are a few strictly artist management agencies.
Some music companies working with artist management in Poland include:
TBA Music
Kreatywa Artystyczna
Chaos Management
Toinen Music
Smart Management

Plus a myriad of freelance managers.


There are two levels of touring:

– major bands targeting the largest mass audiences and venues of 1,000-2,000

– alternative circuit – venues of approx. 200-400

Tour requires extra PR activities in order to guarantee crowds. For a new band, most promoters are likely to offer rather small guarantee, plus a percent of ticket sales/accomodation/food/bar.

Go Ahead
Knockout Production
Good Music Production

Open’er Festival
Krakow Live Festival
Orange Warsaw Festival
Woodstock Festival
OFF Festival
Red Bull Music Academy Weekender
Tauron Nowa Muzyka
Halfway Festival (focus on Nordic music)

Clubs (few examples)
Cafe Kulturalna

CK Zamek
Hala nr. 2

Sfinks 700

Sala Gotycka

Check out this article from IQ Magazine regarding the Polish live scene.

Media, PR & Promo

Breakfast TV shows – guests appearances /music material + live music at the end
TVP Kultura – culture channel, features music and shows with guests
MuzoTV – pop music
4FunTV – dance & pop music
EskaTV – dance music
ProstoTV – hip hop channel

There are very many radio stations in Poland – public and private. There are few nation wide:
– Polish Radio I – focused on popular music and golden oldies
– Polish Radio II – focused on jazz and classic
– Polish Radio III (Trojka) – the most important station for indie music
– Polish Radio IV (Czwórka) – only online since summer 2016, focused on popular and indie music
– In every city there is a city Polish Radio division e.g. Polish Radio Krakow, Polish Radio Poznan, etc.

– RMF FM – biggest commercial station, only hits and mainstream music, widest reach
– Zet Group – commercial stations, divided by genre, e.g. Zet – popular mainstream, hits only, Chilli Zet – indie, soul, r’n’b; Zet Gold – golden oldies, Antyradio – rock music
– Eska – dance music, Eska rock – rock music (only online)
– Student radio stations (most prominent: Kampus – Warsaw, UWM FM – Olsztyn, Afera – Poznań, Radiofonia Żak – Krakow)

For jazz music, the most important station is Polish Radio II. There is also online Radio Jazz.

Onet Muzyka
Interia Muzyka
LAIF – very interested in Nordic music
RedBull Muzyka
Brand New Anthem
Music Is
So music!

Jazz Forum

There aren’t many Polish paper magazines dedicated to popular music only but every lifestyle paper or magazine has culture section where news on albums releases or tours etc. are often presented. There are a few on jazz though.

Here are a few of the music print media:
Gazeta Magnetofonowa – primarily on Polish music
LAIF– published quarterly
Gitarzysta – monthly magazine
Perkusista – monthly magazine
Lizard – monthly magazine
Jazz Forum

PR Agencies
There are a few pr music agencies – it is still developing market in this sense
Mood Production
Smile PR
Fabryka Rozgłosu

Industry Networking Arenas

Spring Break (showcase festival)
European Music Fair (industry meeting and conference + showcase)
Warsaw Music Week (industry meeting, conference & showcase)


Individuals with their place of residence in Poland are taxed on their total income, regardless of where the income is earned (unlimited tax obligation in Poland). Individuals who do not have a place of residence in Poland are taxed solely on income earned in Poland (limited tax obligation in Poland).

Natural persons in Poland are subject to personal income tax calculated, as a rule, according to a progressive tax scale. Tax rates vary depending on the income earned, defined as the total revenue minus tax deductible costs, earned in a given taxable year.
Full information available here: http://www.paiz.gov.pl/polish_law/taxation/pit

Current politics

The Polish political situation is currently a bit tricky – the conservative government elected last year is implementing a rather populist set of policies and has euro-sceptic tendencies. That being said, it is important to note that this has had (and will likely not have) much influence on the daily life of the majority of Poles, especially those working in the creative industries.

If you are, however, interested in the political changes, here are a few articles that give you a bit of a picture of what is happening:
– Potrait of Jarosław Kaczyński, head of the ruling PiS party and MP: http://www.politico.eu/article/polands-powerholic-jaroslaw-kaczynski-warsaw-law-and-justice-party-pis/ – this article provides a great bit of background as to the political motivations behind the PiS party’s decisions and legislative proposals

– Local governments are doing great things in terms of supporting more liberal policies: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pawel-adamowicz/local-governments-in-pola_b_12537154.html – the Gdańsk mayor also announced that he is starting a committee on integration made up of migrants and refugees .
– The city of Warsaw announced a policy against violence and racism on 15 Oct at a large condoned and supported gathering at the city’s Palace of Culture

– The new government is implemeting policy to foster an innovative environment for entrepreneurs, startups and research and development: https://www.ft.com/content/dc01376a-451c-11e6-9b66-0712b3873ae1

– Polish society is getting quite vocal about sticking up for their rights: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/poland-abortion-protest_us_57fced3ae4b068ecb5e1af88

(Text: Magdalena Jensen / photo: Novitas/Freeimages.com)

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