Germany’s Music Industry Sees Highest Growth Rate Since Early 1990s


BERLIN — The German music industry grew significantly in the first half of 2019, generating a total of €783.21 million ($882.4 million) from audio streams and the sale of CDs, downloads and vinyl, the German Music Industry Association (BVMI) announced Thursday in Berlin.

That marks a 7.9% increase from the same period a year ago (H1 2018: €725.9 million) and marks the highest growth rate since 1993.

The industry organization said studio streaming grew by 27.7% and further expanded its position as the number one segment by revenue. In addition, the compact disc stabilized slightly with a rate of decline halved (down 11.7 %)compared to the same period last year, while vinyl continued to grow after a short breather (+7.4 % compared to the same period last year). Downloads declined significantly (-16.3 %), but also somewhat less than in the first half of 2018.

Overall, the digital business grew by 21.1% in the first six months of this year to reach a 66% share of total revenues (2018: 56.7%). Accordingly, the physical business (-11 %) accounted for 34 % of total revenues. At 56.4%, audio streaming has the largest share of industry revenues, followed by CDs (28.2%), downloads (6.6%) and vinyl (4.4%). 

“Streaming is now also having a leverage effect in Germany,” said BVMI chairman & CEO Dr. Florian Drücke. “With a digital share of two thirds, the industry shows how far it already is on the way to digital turnaround. The reasons for the dynamic growth rates in (legal) audio streaming are above all, attractive offers, but also the prevalence of smartphones and flat rates.”

Drücke added, “Fortunately, we are seeing a growing understanding that the rights of creatives and their partners must be protected in the digital environment, and that online platforms must also be held responsible in this context. Reliable rules in the market remain essential with regards to the digital licensing business. When implementing the European copyright reform, it is therefore important that the German legislator enters into a factual discussion after the heated debate that had accompanied the adoption of the directive.”

Frank Briegmann, CEO & president of Universal Music Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon, said the first-half growth “shows that we are on the right track, and proves that the German music market is still benefiting from the coexistence of digital and physical formats.”


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