Norwegian music export doubled since 1998

Few countries can match the impressive statistics presented by Music Export Norway this week: the Norwegian music export has nearly doubled over the last four years.

Inger Dirdal

The last year has seen the domestic market strengthened and stabilised – now there’s ample proof that the export sector is catching up. According to a report prepared by researchers Stein-Erik Kruse and Gisle Kvanvik and presented by Music Export Norway this week, the Norwegian music export has seen an increase of nearly 100% since 1998.

“All indications are showing the same figures – it’s a healthy growth all over” says Music Export Norway’s Inger Dirdal. “Percent-wise, no other country can match the growth in export that Norway has seen over the last four years.”

In the years 1998-2001 Norwegian music export grew from NOK 66 mill. to NOK 133 mill. Although last years statistics are yet to be confirmed, it is reason to believe that 2002 will represent an additional 30% increase to the export sector.

The fees collected by the Norwegian Performing Rights Society – TONO – have also increased substantially over the last four years. While TONO channelled NOK 7,7 mill. in 1998 from international performances to its members, 2001 saw the figures increased to NOK 16 mill.

The report points out that Norway’s music export has grown independently with a small degree of governmental support and subsidies.

Artists that contribute to this export increase include among others Briskeby, Madrugada, Lene Marlin and Secret Garden but not such major acts as a-ha and Röyksopp who are both signed to foreign record labels and are published by international companies.

Another growing niche in the export sector is the services offered by studios and production teams such as Waterfall, Stargate and Athletic Sound. These companies offer songwriting, remixing, A&R, production and recording services that seeing increasing demand from major international players. This export of services is singled out by the Music Export Norway report as having one of the biggest growth potentials.

Says Music Export Norway’s Inger Dirdal on the positive developments on the export sector: “Ten years ago, few artists ventured outside Norway’s borders. These days, virtually everybody wants to reach out to a wider international audience.“

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