According to a study by the Nuremberg-based research institute GFK, the German live entertainment market's turnover for 2009 totaled €3.17 billion ($4.38 billion) - a 12% decline on 2008's €3.6 billion ($4.97 billion). There had already been a 7% decline from 2007 to 2008.

In 2009, 30.7 million visitors attended at least one live entertainment event in Germany, compared to 32.7 million in 2008. In 2009, 106.4 million tickets for live events were sold, down 10% on the 118.7 million a year earlier.

Concerts made up more than two thirds of the live entertainment market in 2009. That concert element reached a turnover of €2.27 billion ($3.13 billion) - down 9.2% on the 2008 total of €2.5 billion ($3.45 billion).

The research showed that 30% of the concert visitors purchased the tickets via the Internet, up from 27% in 2008.

Each concert visitor spent about €4.30 ($5.93) on merchandising, an increase of €0.40 (55 cents) on the prior year. Among 10- to 19-year-olds, the average spend was €7.60 ($10.48) on merch - €2 ($2.76) more than in 2008 among that age group.

Jens Michow, president of the Federal Association of the Event Industry or Bundesverband der Veranstaltungswirtschaft (BDV), comments to Billboard.biz: "Because of the increasing costs and the high demands of foreign stars, the German concert promoters decided to have fewer concerts with international acts in Germany in order to lower the costs."

Michow reported that fans will travel hundreds of kilometers to concerts by major stars and therefore it is sufficient to have only few concerts in the big German cities such as Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg or Berlin. However, small and medium-sized promoters are less able to meet artists' demands.

Michow is content with the figures for 2009. "The decrease in turnover does not mean that the big promoters did not reach a good profit margin," he says.

For 2010, Michow expects a much more positive result because for Germany the global financial crisis is passing. "People again have fun going to concerts. The daily life is not so gray any more," he tells Billboard.biz.

BDV is the professional association for all branches of German concert and live entertainment business.

The association provides the sector - including German concert and tour organizers, artists' agencies and managers - with representation and consultation. Besides its 230 member companies, it also represents various live entertainment bodies.