The German live entertainment market experienced a 7% drop in revenue in 2008, according to research commissioned by the German Federal Association of the live entertainment industry. The decline was even sharper - 9% - in live music.

The total turnover of all events decreased from €3.87 billion ($5.83 billion) in 2007 to €3.61 billion ($5.44 billion).

The preliminary results from the research by the society for market research (GfK) in Nuremberg were issued in July 2009 (Billboard.biz, July 24). The research, commissioned by the German Federal Association of the live-entertainment industry (idkv) in Hamburg together with the German trade magazine Musikmarkt in Munich, was released today (Nov. 25) in Berlin at the annual meeting of the German concert promoters.

For all events, a total of 32.7 million visitors were registered (2007: 34 million) as attending events - a fall of 4%. Last year 118.7 million tickets were sold (2007: 127.3 million) which represents a decline of 7%.

The average ticket price increased 3% from €29.45 ($44.40) to €30.39 ($45.82). In some segments the prices are lower, such as for example alternative music, where the average price is €18.40 ($27.74). Music events made up two-thirds of the turnover, amounting to €2.57 billion ($3.87 billion) last year, compared to €2.82 billion ($4.25 billion) in 2007 - a fall of 9%.

According to Jens Michow, president of the idkv, the negative economic situation had an impact on the live market. "The live entertainment business does not only depend on the quality and variety to offer, but also on the prosperity of the whole economy," he said.

With a turnover of about €2.6 billion ($3.92 billion) for the music sector and another €1 billion ($1.5 billion) turnover for the other parts of the live entertainment market, it follows closely behind the German book market, which stands at €3.86 billion ($5.82 billion).

"The promoter's average profit is 9% before tax," added Michow.

Regarding the genres of the music events, musicals increased their market share from 21% to 22% compared to 2007. The other market shares show that classical music has 14% (2007: 15%), rock/pop international has 13% (2007: 13%), rock/pop German has 11% (2007: 12%).

The Internet's importance for the live entertainment business in Germany has grown. In the age group of 20 to 29 years, 37% (2007: 34 percent) purchase their tickets on the Internet. Box offices report a 32% share (2007: 42%), although the research also shows that 58% (2007: 53%) of the over 60s use these ticket offices.

Newspapers - advertising and editorial - are considered the most important stimulus to attending an event, with 55% of the audience learning about tickets here. Word-of-mouth was cited by 51%, followed by poster advertising (38%) and the Internet (16%).

The figures also show that 74% (2007: 88%) of the visitors at music events spent money on food and drinks, while 29% (2007: 43%) purchased merchandising.