Volume-wise, 2009 represents the fourth best year for Norwegian music on record. Norwegian music had a turnover of NOK 233 million last year, representing a 48% stake of the market. International music had a turnover of NOK 226m, while classical music had a turnover of NOK 26m.

In an interview with MIC's Ballade.no site today, IFPI Norway’s Øyvind Berg Svendby says the noughties have proved to be good years for Norwegian music. 2009 is the fourth best year for Norwegian music after 1994 and a two year period in the ‘00s.

- The last few years have been good ones for Norwegian music. Domestic acts seem to suffer less under illegal downloading than the international artists. One reason for this could be that international acts are more easily available for illegal downloading and that it is more difficult to find Norwegian acts on file-sharing networks.

- In addition to this, there’s also a closer relationship between consumers and local artists than acts that are more peripheral from a Norwegian perspective. In other words; it feels not so bad to download international artists as Norwegian. This is a trend we have seen in many countries where the local acts stand up better than the international.

As reported on Jan 26th, December 2009 represented an increase of 13% over the previous year. Whether if it is Sissel Kyrkjebø and Odd Nordstoaga’s multi platinum selling album Strålande Jul, which sold nearly 400,000 copies in the last month, that accounts for this increase, Svendby is reluctant to confirm: – (In a small market as Norway’s)fluctuations in sales figures are generated by relative low sales.

Yet the industry is experiencing a further decline in overall sales of music. Although the downloaded products are up over 50% last year, the total decline in sales amounts three percent compared with 2008. The sale of physical units have fallen nearly 50% in the 2000s, according to the industry's own figures. - Illegal downloading is the cause, said Svendby. - There is not much doubt. There are no other obvious causes for much of the decline.

- It has never been consumed more music than presently, but the industry has not earned so little, either. It has consequences for the further development of the local market in the sense that there less funds available for artist development and, ultimately, less new music, "says Svendby.

The total sales of music to consumers in Norway IFPI stipulates to a value of approx. 1.2 billion for 2009. IFPI figures are based on including all the major international record companies' offices in Norway, as well as several major Norwegian indies.

(Translated: Original interview in Norwegian by Ballade.no's Carl Kristian Johansen here.)sd
 
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