German collection society GEMA’s revenues rose 8.4% YoY to $1.38bn in 2023

Dr Tobias Holzmüller, CEO of GEMA

Germany-based music collection society GEMA has reported its financial results for 2023.

The organization’s total revenues for the year rose 8.4% YoY to EUR €1.277 billion, which converts to USD $1.38 billion at the average annual exchange rate published by the IRS.

Additionally, GEMA says that the sum paid out to its members and rightsholders worldwide for 2023 is €1.082 billion ($1.17bn) – marking the second consecutive year that the org’s distributions to its members exceeded €1 billion, after distributing €1.009bn in 2022.

In Germany, GEMA represents the copyright of more than 94,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers), and more than two million copyright owners from all over the world.

GEMA’s members include all three major music publishers and a raft of other rightsholders.

GEMA reports that “despite a general inflation rate in Germany of 5.9%”, the organization’s expense ratio “rose only slightly” to 15.2% – from 14.3% in the previous year (2022).

The org’s expenses in 2023 reached €194.2 million ($210.17m) versus €168.59 million in 2022 (see below).

GEMA broke down its results further and reveals that its public performance revenues reached €444 million ($480.51m) in 2023, up 24% YoY versus 2022 when the org’s public performance revenues hit €357.5 million.

Meanwhile, income from music usage on TV and radio decreased in 2023 by 6.2% YoY to €304.8 million ($329.87m) versus €325.1m in 2022.

GEMA pinned this decline on “the downturn of the advertising market for private television stations”.

Elsewhere, GEMA reported that ‘online’ revenues “showed slight growth” in 2023, “in particular due to new video-on-demand contracts”.

GEMA’s income derived from ‘online’ sources increased by 3% YoY to €310.3 million ($335.82m) in 2023 (versus €301.3m in 2022).

Revenues from physical music duplication in 2023 fell 18.4% YoY in 2023 to €44.7 million ($48.37m) versus €54.8m in 2022.

GEMA noted that “even though there is a revival for records, the loss of importance of physical sound [formats] is continuing”.

The German Music Industry Association (BVMI) reported last month that Germany’s recorded music business generated $2.4 billion in 2023, up 6.3% YoY.

The entire physical music market in Germany (including vinyl and CDs) grew slightly by 0.01% YoY in 2023.

BVMI reported that the CD was the second largest format after streaming in 2023, accounting for 11.3% of the market in 2023, versus 12.9% in 2022. Revenues from Vinyl sales accounted for 6.3% of the German recorded music market in 2023, compared to 6% in the prior year (2022).

“2023 will go down as the most successful financial year in GEMA’s history to date.”

Dr Tobias Holzmüller, GEMA

Commenting on GEMA’s new set of results, Dr Tobias Holzmüller, CEO of GEMA, said: “2023 will go down as the most successful financial year in GEMA’s history to date.

“Despite the tense economic circumstances, we have worked to minimize costs and once again increased distributable funds. This sends an important message to our now 94,000 members: You can rely on your GEMA.”

Holzmüller also commented on the “current boom” in generative AI in music creation.

He noted:  “The global AI music market offers enormous economic potential. AI can inspire creative processes and support music creators in their work. However, it should not be forgotten that the works of the creators form the very basis for this new form of creativity.

“The legal framework must be designed in such a way that everyone involved can participate appropriately in the success of this development in the long run.”Music Business Worldwide

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