While January is always one of the year’s weakest months, 2003’s record sales have started off weaker than usual.
January sales in 2003 are down 15% compared to 2002, an all-time low during the last five years. Norwegian releases are suffering from this drop in sales as the national percentage is now down to 11% - a two per-cent drop compared to January 2002 and a stark contrast to last years strong Norwegian sales.
Sales of singles have dropped 6% in value (3% in volume).
The DVD format is rapidly gaining ground in Norway – January sales are up 40% in volume compared to 2002! This is a continuation of a strong DVD trend which seems to continue into 2003. Last year saw an increase from the third to fourth quarter amounting to 86%.
While the January record sales are negative, the industry seems not to be fearing a substantial drop in sales. Few major releases have been scheduled for the year’s first month and demand for best-sellers has been low due to massive shipping in December.
With major releases coming up in the following months, the general prevailing mood in the Norwegian music industry is rather optimistic.