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Euro music markets singing local tune

LONDON — Europe’s key music markets have experienced a major shift towards sales of domestic music over international product in the last five years, according to newly published research.

Figures released by the IFPI — the record industry’s international rep organization — show the most dramatic move toward domestic music in Germany.

Since 1991, domestic sales (calculated by market value) in Germany rose from 30% in 1991 to 40% in 1996, with a big 5.5% leap from 1995 to 1996.

In the U.K., the domestic share of the market rose to 51% in 1996 from 45% in 1991, although the 1996 figure was up only 0.5% on 1995.

Similarly, in Italy, domestic production was up to 53.9% from 46%. That growth, however, has been erratic. For example, domestic sales in 1995 were 46.3% and 49.1% in 1994.

France saw domestic sales hit 49.5% in 1996, up from 43.6% in 1991. Spain’s domestic share was 33% in 1992, and up to 36.3% in 1996.

Conversely, there are markets where the domestic share fell. Whereas domestic music accounted for 25% of total sales in Australia in 1991, by 1996, it dropped to 11.9%.

Some markets have remained stable. Japan’s domestic share was 72% in 1991, and 73.1% in 1996.

Strangely, Canada’s domestic sales were a steady 10% for every year from 1991 to 1996, making it the only market without fluctuation. No breakdown between domestic and international sales for the U.S. was given.

Breakdown by genre

For the first time, the IFPI has also released figures on sales by genre for the U.S., the U.K. and Germany.

Between 1991 and 1996 in the U.S., pop music sales declined from 12.1% to 9.3%, while rock was down 34.8% to 32.6%. R&B rose to 12.1% from 9.9% and country to 14.7% from 12.8%. The ’96 figure for country, however, was down from 16.7% in 1995.

The U.K.’s big loser was pop, with album sales down from 41.5% in 1991 to 34.7% in 1996, and pop singles down from 44% to 36%. R&B singles jumped from 14% in 1995 to 18% in 1996, the only years for which R&B numbers were released.

In Germany, rock was down from 20.7% in 1992 to 16.6% in ’96.

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