Deutschrap drives Warner Chappell market share boom in Germany

Capital Bra

Warner Chappell Music saw its market share of domestic repertoire rise to more than a third (33.64%) in Germany last year.

That domestic market share – a calculation of local and international repertoire based on single song sales and streaming as calculated by GfK – was nearly triple the annual figure that the Warner Music Group company posted in 2015 (12.34%).

These results, says Chappell, meant it was comfortably the No.1 domestic repertoire publisher in Germany in 2020 – some 10% ahead of nearest competitor Sony/ATV (now Sony Music Publishing), which ended the year with an equivalent market share of 23.81% (see below).

Warner Chappell also says that, more than any other, one factor has been key to this growth: its early and continued investment in local German hip-hop, aka ‘Deutschrap’.

MBW first noted the explosion of home-grown rap on the German charts back in 2017, and the genre continued to dominate the charts in 2020.

In the publishing world, Warner Chappell cites three of its songwriters in particular that have contributed to Deutschrap’s mainstream success: Capital Bra, Bonez MC and Apache 207.


Source: Warner Chappell / GfK data

Capital Bra is now the most-streamed artist of all time in Germany. He’s had 26 No.1 singles in the last three years and 16 of them have been certified Gold, while eight have been certified Platinum.

Bonez MC released two albums last year,  both of which went to No.1. Between them they contained five No.1 singles.He’s also had three Platinum and four Gold albums to date, along with 18 Gold, three Platinum and one Diamond

Meanwhile, Apache 207’s song Roller was the most streamed track in Germany in 2019 and 2020.

Lars Karlsson, MD, Warner Chappell Music Germany and the Nordics, tells MBW that Chappell is now eying global careers for its superstar Deutschrap songwriters.

“To be the number one domestic publisher by such a clear margin is amazing,” he said. “And this is no flash in the pan – we’re building a Deutschrap songbook here that will stand the test of time.”

“Our rappers have become huge in Germany, now we’re working on the challenge of building their careers internationally.”

Lars Karlsson, Warner Chappell

Added Karlsson: “Our rappers have become huge in Germany, now we’re working on the challenge of building their careers internationally. At Chappell, all our A&R execs who work with hip-hop writers in their own markets worldwide get together for regular sessions to help connect different scenes.

“But, of course, the German music scene is about more than just Deutschrap. We’re working with a huge range of other songwriters. One interesting development has been the way more international artists are using Germany as a market to build their presence in the early days of their careers.”

Also speaking to MBW, Natascha Augustin, Senior Creative Director, A&R, Warner Chappell Music Germany, said: “Deutschrap was once an underground scene, ignored by mainstream brands in Germany. Now they realize it’s a powerful tool to connect them with young audiences from all backgrounds.”

“Deutschrap was once an underground scene, ignored by mainstream brands in Germany. Now they realise it’s a powerful tool to connect them with young audiences from all backgrounds.”

Natascha Augustin, Warner Chappell

Augustin added: “These rappers, and many more, have taken Deutschrap mainstream and driven streaming to new heights. If anything, the Covid disruption of the last year has just made them more productive as time off the road has given them more time to write.

“And fans stuck at home are hungry for more new music that articulates how they feel. Last year we had seven songwriters who had a single in the charts every single week of the year.”

Augustin continued: “One interesting emerging connection is with the UK drill scene. Working with Darryl Parkinson in the UK, we helped team up German rapper Luciano with the British producer Gotcha for the song Mios mit Bars, which has 40 million Spotify streams and is certified Gold. And German Rapper Jamule is about to release a track with UK street rap star Morrisson. I think we’ll see plenty more such collabs in 2021.

“There’s also a healthy interest in using loops from our German producers. Recent examples include loops from Deats used in Trippie Redd and PARTYNEXTDOOR’s Excitement; DLS loops being used by D-Block Europe; and loops from Zeeko & Veteran being used in French rapper LaCrim’s R.I.P.R.O. mixtape.

“We’re also seeing our rappers increase their collabs with artists from different genres. Take the song Paradise by Berlin based DJ duo Vize, which featured Capital Bra. That fusion of electronic and Deutschrap wouldn’t have happened a few years ago, now it’s racing up the charts.”Music Business Worldwide

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