Recorded Music Sales - ARIA Wholesale Statistics

Year Ending 31 December 2002

Despite 'bucking the trend' internationally in 2001, the last year has witnessed a decline in recorded music sales in the Australian market - the first drop in several years.   However, the overall decline was not as severe as in other markets, particularly the USA .

2002 saw a 4.4% fall in volume in the Australian market and an overall 4.5% average wholesale price reduction.   The dollar value of the audio market (i.e. excluding music video and DVD) is down by 8.9% (from $629 million to $573 million) .

The Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) cites this decrease as reflective of a number of factors including unsettled economic conditions and a tough retail environment, the widespread proliferation of unauthorized copying via CD burning and downloading, emerging competition from new leisure products such as DVD video, and continuing competition from mobile technologies and computer games.

Recorded music sales continued to be hit adversely by online and offline piracy, a problem that is of increased concern to the local market with the emergence of "backyard" CD-R piracy. Though expected, and in line with worldwide trends, ARIA is disappointed by this decline.   The music industry, both here and internationally, remains committed to continuing its efforts against online and CD piracy.   We are also seeing the continued development of legitimate online business models, particularly in the US , with many companies, including all the majors, now engaged in online distribution of their catalogues.  

A positive movement in the Australian market was the growth of music DVD sales, which has more than trebled. The DVD format is clearly proving to be a popular key carrier for music and is expected to continue to drive market growth for record companies.

In short:

•  Record companies shipped over 61 million audio and music video DVD units (2001, over 63 million units).

•  New release titles declined by only 0.7% in unit sales demonstrating a continued strong interest in new music.

•  Singles declined 8.3% in unit sales.

 •  Local repertoire - in a market continuing to be dominated by US repertoire, local repertoire fell slightly from 17.2% to 15.6% as a share of the overall market. Notably though, there were outstanding performances from Kylie Minogue, Kasey Chambers, george, Silverchair and John Farnham, with these five acts representing 26% of the total volume of the top 20 selling albums for 2002.

•  2002 Product Highlights - New albums contributed the most to sales during the year with a couple of very strong international performers. Both Eminem - The Eminem Show and latin sensation Shakira - Laundry Service had combined single & album sales of over ½ million each during 2002. One of the strongest genres that saw increased sales was in the area of R&B and Urban music with the sales of Australian country music albums also proving to be a winner. This is directly in line with the worldwide trends of increased demand for these musical genres, both of which have encroached further into the pop/mainstream market.


International Repertoire - formidable international releases included:


Enrique Iglesias Escape Elvis Presley

30 #1 Hits

Jamiroquai A Funk Odyssey Avril Lavigne Let Go
Red Hot Chili Peppers By The Way So Fresh - The Hits of... Compliations


•  Local repertoire - In a testament to the success and potential of local repertoire, Kasey Chambers -Barricades & Brickwalls - was the third (3 rd ) highest selling album in 2002, marginally behind the international top sellers Eminem and Shakira. Also demonstrating further evidence of the strength and diversity of local Australian repertoire, are those artists listed below who achieved both sales success and critical acclaim for the period:

Kylie Minogue Fever george Polyserena
Silverchair Diorama Alex Lloyd Watching Angels Mend
Grinspoon New Detention The Whitlams Torch the Moon
Taxiride Garage Mahal The Vines Highly Evolved
Darren Hayes Spin Powderfinger Odyssey Number 5
Motor Ace Shoot This Nikki Webster Follow Your Heart
1200 Techniques Choose One John Butler Trio Three
John Farnham The Last Time    
Kasey Chambers Barricades & Brickwalls Lee Kernaghan Electric Rodeo
Adam Brand Built For Speed    
Hi-Five It's a Hi-Five Christmas    
Selwyn Meant to Be    
Slava Grigoryan Sonatas and Fantasies    
The 12th Man The Final Dig    

To view the 2002 Yearly Statistics Click Here (PDF).

23 January 2003


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