Boosted by growth in music DVDs, the Australian recorded music market rose 5.98% year-on-year to a value of A$646 million ($478.75 million) in 2003, according to figures released today (March 17) by t

Boosted by growth in music DVDs, the Australian recorded music market rose 5.98% year-on-year to a value of A$646 million ($478.75 million) in 2003, according to figures released today (March 17) by the Australian Record Industry Assn. (ARIA).

Shipments of music video/DVD titles increased in volume to 4.92 million units from 2.45 million, a rise of 101%.

Music DVDs now represent 7.4% by volume of the recorded music market, up from 3.9% in 2002, and 11.3% of the market by value, compared with 6.1% the previous year.

Excluding music DVDs, the Australian market would have remained relatively flat during the period at A$573 million ($424.65 million). CD album sales rose in volume by 7.85% to more than 50 million units. But CD albums increased only 2.12% in value to A$539.61 million ($399.9 million), due to a significant drop in wholesale unit pricing.

CD singles plunged by 16.57% in volume and 23.9% in value compared to 2002. ARIA attributes the declines to illegitimate file sharing and CD burning.

The strong performance of domestic repertoire was one of the year's highlights, says ARIA. The value of Australian recordings increased 26% over the previous calendar year to A$145 million ($107.46 million). Local repertoire represented about 25% of shipments, compared to 20% in 2002.

The year's "extraordinary" success stories included Delta Goodrem's "Innocent Eyes" (Sony), which shifted 980,000 units in Australia. Rock band Powderfinger's "Vulture Street" (Universal) and "Australian Idol" winner Guy Sebastian's "Just As I Am" (BMG) each moved about 420,000 units.

In this week's ARIA album chart, the top three acts are local, and eight releases in the Top 20 are Australian. Aussie acts have claimed the top spot for 41 of the past 50 weeks.

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