Germany’s streaming numbers increased by 33.5% in 2018 – but total recorded music revenues fell 0.4%

Recorded music revenues in Germany fell by 0.4% in 2018 according to figures released today (March 7) by German music industry association Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI).

The country’s total revenue from CDs, downloads, vinyl and streaming in 2018 was €1.58bn.

While the entire market experienced a slight dip, audio streaming in the country ‘soared’ by 33.5% and now accounts for 46.4% of the market.

The CD is still the second strongest selling format with a market share of 36.4%, seeing a 20% dip compared to 2017.

Downloads contributed 7.8% of sales and vinyl around 5.2%, with a market share of 4.4%.

As noted by the BVMI, the German industry, which enjoyed a particularly buoyant physical market share for a long time, until H1 2018 when streaming revenue overtook CDs for the first time – ‘continued to shift significantly into the digital space in 2018.’

By the end of 2018, 56.7% of sales were generated by digital (audio / video streams and downloads), with the remaining 43.3% from physical music.

“The German music industry continues to hold the course as it moves through a major transformation phase.”

Dr. Florian Drücke, BVMI 

BVMI Chairman & CEO Dr. Florian Drücke said: “After its previous four years of growth, industry
turnover has now had its second year at a steady plateau level. This is not unhappy news. In
fact, the German music industry continues to hold the course as it moves through a major
transformation phase.

“This stability is remarkable considering that we experienced a 20% decline in sales of CDs, a media format that still contributes significantly to industry earnings and is therefore tremendously important for the industry’s overall balance sheet.

“We owe the stable market to the ongoing substantial growth in audio streaming, which experienced a 33.5% increase from an already very high level, thereby demonstrating its widespread acceptance among fans.

“This is a very good sign for the coming years, as it indicates users’ increasing willingness to pay. The lion’s share of audio streaming revenue is indeed generated by premium subscriptions”.

Added Drücke: “A message to all of those who still think that user upload platforms should not be required to pay higher licensing fees: Recent studies show that fans spend about as much time listening to on-demand music from audio streaming as from video streaming services.

“And yet, this behavior is in no way reflected by actual sales figures. In fact, while audio streaming is poised to generate a full 50% of industry revenues, music streamed through on-demand video services returns only 2.4% of revenues back to creatives and their partners. This reality is often forgotten in the current debate on copyright reform”.Music Business Worldwide

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