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Dialect singers slow decline of CD sales

CD sales are also in decline in Switzerland Keystone

Sales of compact discs (CDs) and other music in Switzerland continued to drop last year, coming in at SFr231 million ($195.3 million).

Songs in Swiss-German dialect gained popularity, with three such CDs in the top five.

The best-selling CD in 2004 was a compilation of pop songs in Swiss-German dialect S’Bescht Mundart Album Wo’s Git, Volume 1, by various local artists.

It sold 160,000 copies, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) in Zurich.

The two United States pop stars, Anastacia and Norah Jones, came second and third with their CDs Anastacia and Feels Like Home, with 120,000 copies each.

But overall, sales of CDs, cassettes and DVD audios decreased from 19.5 million to 18.9 million copies or SFr251 million to SFr231 million between 2003 and 2004.


Beat Högger of the Swiss chapter of the IFPI told swissinfo that the use of free download software was one of the reasons for the continuing drop in sales.

He added that young customers also spent more money on mobile phones and other forms of entertainment.

The IFPI has long been worried about the rise in free music on the internet. Last year, the Swiss IFPI threatened to take legal action against people who downloaded songs without paying for them.

Offenders currently face a fine of up to SFr100,000 and a maximum prison sentence of three years if caught.

Gold and platinum

In all, 119 albums went gold (20,000 copies sold) or platinum (40,000 copies sold) in Switzerland last year.

More than a dozen of them were recorded by Swiss artists singing in Swiss-German dialect.

German-speakers make up 64 per cent of the Swiss population, while 20 per cent are French-speaking and seven per cent speak Italian.

The bulk of gold and platinum awards, however, went to artists from the English-speaking world, including Eminem, Robbie Williams, Avril Lavigne, Phil Colllins and Bryan Adams.

Among the top sellers in French are Canadian singer Garou and Michel Sardou, while Zucchero, Laura Pausini and Vasco Rossi were the most popular Italian artists in Switzerland.

swissinfo with agencies

Sales of CDs and discs in Switzerland dropped from 19.5 million copies (2003) to 18.9 copies (2004).

The sales were worth SFr231 million (2004) down from SFr251 million (2003).

15 CDs by artists singing in Swiss-German dialect won gold or platinum last year.

Top five CD sales 2004:

S’Bescht Mundart Album Wo’s Git, Vol 1 (various) 160,000 copies
Anastacia (Anastacia) 120,000
Feels like Home (Norah Jones) 120,000
S’Bescht Mundart Album, Vol 2 (various) 80,000
Sidefiin (Plüsch) 80,000

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR