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2003 Australian Record Sales Figures

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Australian recorded music sales figures for the calendar year 2003 demonstrate a continuation of the trends identified in mid-2003. In particular, music DVD continues to drive growth in the Australian recorded music market while CD singles suffer further significant declines in both volume and value.

The size of the overall market for recorded music increased during 2003 and was up 5.98% in value from 2002 (increasing from $609.5 million to $646 million). Nearly all of this growth has been attributable to increased sales of music DVDs. Excluding music DVD, the market remained relatively flat at $573 million. 2003 saw CD album sales volumes increase by 7.85% in stark contrast to the significant decline in the volume of CD single sales, which reduced by 16.6%.

The Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) remains optimistic that the decline in the market has been arrested and that a foundation for solid future growth has now been established.

Some key conclusions from the sales figures include:

** There has been a substantial growth in the sales of Australian repertoire. Sales of Australian recordings have increased 26% over the last calendar year from an annual value of $115 million in 2002 to $145 million in 2003. Australian recordings last year represented 25% of reported sales (as compare to 20% in 2002);
** Australian artists that achieved extraordinary levels of success included,
Delta Goodrem – "Innocent Eyes" (14 x platinum);
Guy Sebastian – "Just As I Am" (6 x platinum);
Powderfinger – "Vulture Street" (6 x platinum); and
John Farnham – "One Voice – The Greatest Hits" (4 x platinum) and "The Last Time" (3 x platinum);
** Goodrem's album was the highest selling CD album overall during 2003 and the albums from Goodrem, Powderfinger and Sebastian made up three of the top 5 selling albums in Australia overall during 2003;
** The sales volumes of the top 50 albums for 2003 increased 25-30% on 2002's results;
** Although album sales volumes are up by 7.85%, the dollar value of those sales has only increased by 2.12% which illustrates a significant drop in wholesale unit pricing to retailers over the last year;
** CD single sales have declined significantly, dropping 16.57% in volume and 23.9% by value on 2002 sales; and

** Music DVD continues to demonstrate extraordinary growth with a 101% increase in sales volume (from 2.45 million in 2002 to 4.92 million units in 2003). Music dvds now represent 7.4% by volume of the recorded music market (up from 3.9% by volume in 2002) and 11.3% of the market by value (up from 6.1% in 2002).

The industry is encouraged by the significant increase in the volume of CD sales over the past year which has helped offset decreases in wholesale pricing during that period. These price reductions have been in response to a very competitive market for the entertainment dollar with increased competition from non-music DVDs, electronic games and mobile technologies. The adverse impact of illegitimate CD burning and internet file sharing continues to be of significant concern, particularly in relation to CD singles where there has been a significant decline in both volume and value. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen