CDs still are the backbone of the German music business, with only a slight sales decrease of 2.2 percent in 2011. National productions showed a drop of 0.6 percent, while international productions fell 5.3 percent.
This was reported today by the Association of the German Music Industry (BVMI) in Berlin and the German market research institute Media Control in Baden Baden in their official trend report for 2011. For the first time since 1997 sales stats do not show a decrease in music sales and rather show stabilization over the past year. In 2010, the German market had music sales of 1.489 billion euros (about $1.09 billion). Christmas business resulted in an increase of 5.8 percent for the month of December compared to 2010, according to the BVMI statistics.
Sales of digital downloads increased 28.8 percent in 2011 compared to 2010. Single releases rose by 27.2 percent, albums increased 27.8 percent and single downloads jumped 30.3 percent.
The increase of sales for vinyl records continued in 2011. Despite being a niche product of only one percent of total sales, vinyl increased by 18.5 percent from 2010 to 2011 with national titles going up by 29 percent and international titles boosted 15.5 percent.
BVMI's managing director Dr. Florian Drücke told Billboard: "We are happy about such a stable market development. Looking at the charts it shows that the German language in songs is in and that the new and the established artists inspire each other. Today we have over 60 legal services on the internet that show a very reasonable increase. Nevertheless the increase of the legal download sales must not be mistaken that in the long run the best legal offers cannot compete with the illegal offers for free and that calls for action."
The total figures for the whole year 2011 the BVMI will be presented at the end of April.