Still great interest in Eurovision in Scandinavia: 800 submissions in Norway
The deadline for submissions of songs to all of the Scandinavian national preselections has now passed and the numbers are in. For some of us fans, the national preselections of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are the most anticipated preselections of the year.
Therefore the number of submissions are of as much of an interest as the actual format of the national preselection, as these numbers reflect the general interest the contest is having among the local composers in each of the respective countries.
Amazing 800 entries submitted for MGP 2015
We have both reported about the Swedish and the Danish numbers and now the Norwegian numbers are in as well.
Between June 5 and the September 1, composers and songwriters could submit their bids for Melodi Grand Prix 2015 to NRK. As the deadline passed, NRK could reveal that they have received around 800 submissions to next year’s MGP. This is a huge increase of around 30% compared to last year’s number, as only about 600 entries were submitted for the Melodi Grand Prix 2014, and that was the highest number of bids since 2010.
Vivi Stenberg, the “lady in charge” of the Norwegian MGP, is thrilled about the number and is calling it a “Rybak-effect,” as 2010 was the only previous time Norway have had such a huge increase in number of submissions from one year to the next. She explains that one possible reason for the increase of submissions might be due to NRK for the first time ever accepting online submissions.
Worries and concerns over “new” EBU Universal-rule put to rest
For some fans, this increasing number come as a surprise as MGP 2014 received some critisicm for its change in format and “cheap” production compared to earlier years. Also, despite reaching a top 10 result in Copenhagen with the amazing 2014 entry «Silent Storm» by Carl Espen, the Norwegian Eurovision entry did not make an impact on the charts in Norway.
Also, earlier this summer, there were shared concerns from both Norwegian and Swedish record labels about the new rule by the EBU allowing Universal Records to take all revenue of both the official compilation album of all the entries, as well as all revenue related to each of the respective bidding entries single releases, even though these artists are signed to a different label than Universal and despite this label doing all of the promoting of the respective single release.
Several composers and known figures in both Norway and Sweden related to the national selections made statements and did not approve of this implement, among them Norwegian composer and regular MGP-bidder, David Eriksen, who’s been responsible for many songs participating in the Norwegian national selection, as well as being the composer of the Norwegian Eurovision entry “Alltid Sommer” by Lars A.Fredriksen back in 1998. Even “Mr. Melodifestivalen” himself, Christer Björkman officially declared his worry about this rule earlier this summer. Both of whom expected many composers and artists signed to labels other than Universal would stay away from submitting entries to next year’s respective national selections. This concern seems to have been of no reason in Norway as Norway still see a very high number of interests for the national selection. Thankfully.
Declining interest in Sweden?
The numbers in Sweden show a very different pattern though as SVT received the lowest number of submissions since 2002. SVT only received 2,177 submissions for the 2015 Melodifestivalen, significantly less than previous years and a huge drop from the record high number of 3,750 submissions for Melodifestivalen 2011.
Could this be a result of a massive drop of interest in the contest, OR is it an expected response from the Universal rule by EBU as mentioned earlier? There has though been a steady decline in submissions for Melodifestivalen since 2012. Though, compared to the population of all the Scandinavian countries, the general interest for the national preselection in Sweden is still way above both that of Norway and Denmark.
Denmark back to average number of submissions for Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2015
Denmark also sees a drop in number of submissions from last year’s record high of 872 to an average number of 687 for the 2015 edition of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix. This drop is easily explained with the fact that, in general, the interest for the national final selection seem to increase a lot the following year of a victory, well except for in Sweden where there was a drop in numbers even the year following their victory in 2012.
All in all, we can say that despite some rumors and concerns, the interest for the Eurovision Song Contest is alive and well in all of the Scandinavian countries, and there is no clear signs that this will change anytime soon.