After a period of decline, recorded music revenues in Germany bounced back last year, growing by 8.2% in 2019 to hit €1.623 billion ($1.82bn) on a retail basis.
Contributing to that 2019 growth, according to figures published today (February 27) by the German Music Industry Association BVMI, was a 27% increase in audio streaming.
Interestingly, we know exactly how many audio streams it took to generate that $1bn haul – 107 billion – a figure published last month as part of an analysis by GfK Entertainment and BVMI. (This streaming volume was calculated from taking into account both advertising-based and paid music streams from a length of 31 seconds.)
Overall, 64.4% of revenues in Germany last year were generated by digital formats, with physical sound formats accounting for 35.6% of the market, which represented an 8.9% decline year-on-year.
CD sales, which declined 10.5% in 2019 and now account for 29% of the market, were only overtaken by streaming as the highest earning format in the German recorded music market for the first time in the first half of 2018.
Elsewhere, digital downloads accounted for 6.2% of the market while vinyl records had a 4.9% share of revenues, marking a 13.3% increase in sales compared to the prior year.
In terms of the share of sales accounted for by certain music genres, “pop” had the highest sales in 2019, at 25.8%.
For the first time, however, “hip-hop/rap” has moved into second place with a share of 19.7%, just ahead of “rock” (19.6%).
“The digital market has been successfully developed and lead to growth in recent years without losing sight of the physical product: The CD remains an important and not to be underestimated market segment with almost one third of total sales, while vinyl continues to grow in its niche.”
Dr. Florian Drück, BVMI
Dr. Florian Drück, BVMI Chairman & CEO, said: “2019 was a very good year, we are seeing the largest increase in revenues in a very long time, which illustrates the dynamic market in which the industry currently finds itself.
“Two-thirds of the business has now shifted to digital, audio streaming alone accounts for more than half of the industry’s revenues.
“The digital market has been successfully developed and lead to growth in recent years without losing sight of the physical product: The CD remains an important and not to be underestimated market segment with almost one third of total sales, while vinyl continues to grow in its niche.
“Incidentally, video streaming has also grown significantly, albeit from a very low starting level: 31 percent additional revenues from premium and advertising-financed offers still only contribute 2.9 percent to industry revenues.
“This once again explains one of the industry’s current priorities, namely the implementation of the Copyright Directive, which is intended to ensure that user upload platforms give creative professionals and their partners a fair share
of the revenues.
“We know from past years how fragile the digital licensing business is and how important resilient framework conditions and their enforcement are in this respect.”
Frank Briegmann, CEO and President, Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon at UMG, said: “In 2019, the German music market has grown at a rate not seen for 30 years: A 27% increase in revenue in the streaming sector and more than 8% in the total market show that our growth is sustainable and expectations on the future are justified.
“A 27% increase in revenue in the streaming sector and more than 8% in the total market show that our growth is sustainable and expectations on the future are justified.”
Frank Briegmann, Universal Music Group
“Streaming continues to be the driver of this growth, and CD-sales, which are still going strong and account for almost one third of the total turnover, bring stability. Once again, domestic acts have contributed massively to this success. They occupy eight of the top ten annual sales charts positions, six of which are, in fact, held by Universal Music acts.”
However, while noting the “justified joy” over Germany’s new market figures, Briegmand warned that Germany has still, by far, not achieved “the turn of the century market level” from 20 years ago.
Briegmann noted that Universal (and the industry) would “not let up in fighting, together with our artists, for further growth of the entire music ecosystem. This also includes the national implementation of the European Copyright Directive.”
Elsewhere in the global recorded music market, France saw growth of 5.4% in 2019, with total revenues of €772 million ($867m), including physical and digital sales, neighbouring rights and sync.