With its ban on large events and nationwide lockdown of several weeks, which is slowly being eased, Germany’s music business has been unable to escape the devastating economic impact caused by the Coronavirus.
A collective of music organizations in Germany have now called on their government to provide immediate “non-repayable state aid” to avoid the “coronavirus collapse” of the country’s music industry.
The associations, including performing rights organization GEMA, German music association BVMI and eight others, have valued the required financial support at €582 million (approximately $630m) to “bridge the current emergency”.
The German music industry, according to a press release revealing the demand for aid, generates annual sales of €11.1 billion ($12bn), and is expected to see losses of around €5.5 billion ($5.9bn) over the next six months due to the impact of Covid-19.
The sum requested from the German government accounts for around 10% of expected losses.
This estimated loss of income and required aid program was quantified in a damage report published by the associations on March 25.
The collective adds that around 130,000 self-employed and employed workers in the music industry currently “fear for their existence”.
“The offers of help from the federal and state governments provided so far are impressive, but in many cases they are not tailored to the value chains linked in the music industry and are therefore far from sufficient,” added the collective in a joint statement.
“The survival of many companies in the music industry can only be ensured by special measures that are geared to specific needs.”
The suggested allocation of the requested €582m for each sub sector in the German music business includes the following:
- Musicians €37m ($40m)
- Music clubs and smaller festivals €44m ($47.5m)
- Concert and tour organizers and artists’ agents €365m ($394m)
- Big festivals €45m ($48.6m)
- Authors €21m ($22.7m)
- Music publishers €15m ($16m)
- Music labels and recording artists €25m ($27m)
- Musical instruments (manufacture, distribution, trade) €30m ($32.4m)
“Beyond economic support, the music industry is essential for the internal cohesion of society and will make an important contribution on the way back to normality.”
“Beyond economic support, the music industry is essential for the internal cohesion of society and will make an important contribution on the way back to normality,” continued a joint statement from the associations.
“If the music industry does not receive the necessary help now, the impact on the diverse and identity-creating music culture in Germany will be devastating. Existing structures run the risk of being lost.”
Dr. Florian Drücke, Chairman of the Board of the Bundesverband Musikindustrie eV (BVMI), said: “The record companies are doing very well digitally, but are also affected by the crisis.
“On the one hand due to considerable losses in the physical market due to business closings and on the other hand due to license failures, for example due to closed clubs, restaurants and shops.
“There is also another way to help the industry, namely by ensuring that creative people and their partners are paid by implementing the copyright directive in German law.”
“The music industry with all its facets, has never faced such a serious and existential situation.”
Patrick Strauch, German Music Publishers Association
Patrick Strauch, President of the German Music Publishers Association, added: “The music industry with all its facets, has never faced such a serious and existential situation.
“Companies that have never had to use grants will find it difficult to survive this crisis without help. Then the cultural diversity for which music is currently standing would be seriously endangered.
“Music publishers will also be affected again by the crisis in 2021. Then there has to be help for them too. ”
“Now we need medium to long-term perspectives to get our diverse music landscape through the crisis as well as possible. ”
Dr. Harald Heker, GEMA
Dr. Harald Heker, CEO of GEMA, said: “The cancellation of events and other restrictions on cultural life hit the music industry particularly hard.
“Authors and artists have shown a lot of solidarity in the current situation and experienced a lot of solidarity. The worst emergency was alleviated with the emergency aid programs of the federal and state governments.
“We are grateful for that. Now we need medium to long-term perspectives to get our diverse music landscape through the crisis as well as possible. ”
“The crisis will continue to accompany us for a long time, and the loss of sales that we are now suffering will have an impact well into the next year.”
Guido Evers, GVL
Guido Evers, Dr. Tilo Gerlach, managing director of GVL, said: “The stages are deserted, musicians of all genres, whether pop, rock, jazz or classical, artists and label makers have lost their livelihood.
“The crisis will continue to accompany us for a long time, and the loss of sales that we are now suffering will have an impact well into the next year.
“That is why we have to find effective and substantial solutions together with politics.
“This also includes the effective implementation of the European requirements for participation in the platform proceeds that are achieved through music. ”
Contributing to that 2019 growth, according to figures published on February 27 by the BVMI, was a 27% increase in audio streaming.
The country generated 107 billion audio streams in 2019 according to analysis released in January 7 by GfK Entertainment and BVMI.
Music Business Worldwide