Ranging from Abba to Spotify and Avicii to Soundcloud, Stockholm Sweden has given rise to both globally renowned musicians and music technology companies.

Can sweden keep its dominance in the music industry
Can Sweden keep its dominance in the music industry

Sweden, with seven victories, holds the record for the most wins in the Eurovision Song Contest, and this year’s event will be hosted in Malmö.

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This musical heritage is immediately apparent upon arriving at Stockholm’s central station.

Sergels torg, the primary square of the capital adorned with black and white triangular paving stones, is home to the Avicii Experience, an interactive museum commemorating the late Tim Bergling, who achieved worldwide fame as the DJ Avicii after growing up in the area.

On the fifteenth floor sits Per Sundin, CEO of Pophouse Entertainment, the company behind the museum. The focus of Pophouse is on creating cutting-edge entertainment experiences, exemplified by projects like the Abba Voyage stage show in London, featuring avatar versions of the iconic Swedish group.

Their latest venture involves plans for a 2027 show featuring digital renditions of the legendary rock band Kiss, following successful technology tests at the band’s final live performance last year.

Despite selling over two million tickets for Abba Voyage since May 2022, Sundin notes that Pophouse Entertainment has yet to break even on its investments, which include collaboration with George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic for the technology and the creation of a bespoke arena in east London.

However, Sundin, a former Universal Music executive, remains optimistic about the concept’s potential, envisioning its adaptation for other revered artists in the future.

Pophouse’s innovations are part of a broader trend of music tech success stories emerging from Stockholm, a city with a population of just 10 million.

Spotify, founded in 2008 by Daniel Ek, and Soundcloud, established a year earlier by two students from Stockholm School of Economics, Alex Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, are among the notable companies originating from the Swedish capital.

Other impactful ventures include Soundtrack Your Brand, offering a subscription service for commercial music, and Epidemic Sound, a platform providing rights-free music for content creators, recently valued at 12.5 billion kronor.

The success of these enterprises is attributed to various factors, including Sweden’s rich musical legacy, a tech-savvy population nurtured by early access to technology, and a business culture fostering collaboration over competition.

This cooperative environment has led to the emergence of startups like Elk, a remote recording platform, and Snafu Records, an AI-enabled music label, both based in Stockholm.

However, despite these achievements, many music tech startups in Stockholm face challenges, including difficulty in securing funding amid global economic uncertainties and pressure from the rapid advancement of AI tools worldwide.

Despite these hurdles, entrepreneurs like Emelie Olsson from Corite remain determined to navigate the evolving landscape and capitalize on opportunities in the dynamic music tech industry.