In contrast to a struggling international industry, the Norwegian record market experienced a positive trend in 2002. Sales are up 21% compared to 2001.
A total of 2,6 million units were shifted on the Norwegian record marked last year. This amounted to a turnover of NOK 1,9 billion (€ 263 million).
Over the last decade, the local percentage of Norwegian sales has been depressingly low – 11 to 14 % being the abysmal sales standard for Norwegian artists. However, 2002 marked a positive trend in this respect with nearly every fifth purchased album being Norwegian. The total sales of Norwegian albums ended at 2 647 000 albums sold at a value of NOK 400 million. Last year, the Norwegian artists stake of the marked was 19%.
December was a lucrative month for the Norwegian record industry – sales were up 30% compared to 2001 and Norwegian artists claimed a healthy 49% of this. Much of this increase is attributed to veteran artist Bjørn Eidsvåg and his Tålt album which with its 203 000 units sold was last year’s winner.
August marked the turning point of last year’s positive trend. The first half of 2002 showed a negative trend with low sales and decreasing Norwegian percentage. Come August and sales figures started to soar. With a number of strong Norwegian albums including Gåte, Ugress, Bjørn Eidsvåg and Madrugada to name but a few coupled with international heavyweights of Robbie William’s calibre, the Norwegian marked experienced a positive development equalled by few countries. At times, the increase compared to 2001 was nearly 90%!
Head of IFPI Norway, Sæmund Fiskvik commented on the positive development to Norwegian daily Aftenposten: I believe the simple reason for the increase in sales is that many excellent records were released last year. Much energy has been put into marketing and sales efforts and I believe that we could have experienced even better results had we not been plagued by download piracy.
Jan Paulsen from the Norwegian Independent Record Producers Association is equally pleased: Last years increased turnover for Norwegian artists is a signal of the high quality of our productions. Many brilliant Norwegian albums were released last year and it seems as if the record buying public finally has decided to embrace our releases.