German record industry grows as streaming income jumps 87%

The income of the German recorded music market increased 4.4% year-on-year in the first half of 2015 – as huge gains in streaming easily offset declines in CD.

It’s yet more good news out of Germany, whose recorded music market grew 1.8% by value across the whole of 2014.

In monetary terms, Germany’s record industry, the world’s third-biggest music territory behind the US and Japan, accrued €686m in H1 2015.

That represented a €30m increase on the period between January-June last year, when Germany’s record business pulled in €656m.

No surprise that the primary driver of the revenue gain in H1 2015 was streaming subscription services (including Spotify, Deezer and Napster) where revenue shot up by a whopping 87.4%, according to BVMI/GfK data.

According to MBW calculations using this data, subscription streaming accounted for around €87.8m in H1 2015, representing 12.8% of Germany’s total revenues.

That was up from a 7.7% share (approx €50.5m) in the first half of 2014.

Combined with ringtones, ad-supported streaming contributed just 1.1% (€6.9m) to the overall German market in H1 2015. (This will trigger debate over what effect the refusal of local CMO GEMA to license YouTube has had on Germany’s music revenues.)

MBW calculations suggest that the value of the CD album in Germany fell by around 3.4% in the first half of 2015 to €415.7m, down from from €430.3m (H1 2014).

According to our analysis, that means subscription streaming pulled in a bigger H1 2015 year-on-year revenue increase (+€37.3m) in Germany than the decline suffered in CD sales (-€14.6m). Although obviously streaming has a long way to go to catch the total value of CD in the market.

Indeed, CD albums still made up 60.6% of the total German market in Jan-June 2015. In H1 2014, they contributed 65.6% of the total market.

(In the full year of 2014, including the CD-dominant gifting period of Q4, the format claimed 66% of the market.)



Interestingly, even the under-pressure download market grew 3.2% in value terms in Germany’s H1 2015, driven mainly by growth in downloaded albums.

Downloads contributed 18.2% of total market value (€124.9m) in the first half of this year.

Combined, the digital business now accounts for just under one third (32.1%) of sales in Germany – in the first half of 2014 it accounted for 26.5%.

In addition, also the vinyl market continued to develop in H1 2015. Growing by close to 33%, it claimed a share of 3.1% (€20.3m) of the total market.

The decline in the CD business meant that physical music claimed 67.9% of the H1 market overall – down from 73.5% in the equivalent period of 2014.

Prof. Dieter Gorny, Chairman of BVMI said: “With the development of the music market, we see an example of the digital transformation of an economy that was considered by many over the years as a late bloomer.”

BVMI CEO Dr. Florian Drücke added: “This is a very positive trend, which should encourage the industry… it means that the cake overall increases

“The growth of more than 87% in music streaming even exceeds the forecast of our streaming study from March of this year.

“In the current discussions on a revision of copyright must not be forgotten that the digital licensing business requires a reliable framework.

“This also means that creative professionals and their partners always adequately participate in the generated revenues from the platforms.”

[Pictured: Rapper Cro, who is currently No.1 on Germany’s albums and singles charts – both taken from recordings of an MTV unplugged performance.]Music Business Worldwide

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