German authors rights society GEMA has reported a €24.8 million ($39.67 million) shortfall in 2007 revenue.

The Berlin-based organization collected €849.6 million ($1.35 billion) for its 60,000 author/publisher members during the year, down 2.83% from 2006.

GEMA's costs amounted to €120.3 million ($192 million), down 1.1% from the previously year.

Billboard had reported last month that GEMA was staring down the barrel of a substantial revenue fall, coming off the back of a record-breaking year.

In its annual financial report, published today, GEMA said a total of €729.3 million ($1.16 billion) was distributed to its authors and publisher members, down more than €23 million ($36 million) or 3.1% from the previous year.

"The music industry in Germany again had to live with a distinct decline of the turnover," comments Dr. Harald Heker, chairman of the executive board of GEMA.

Mechanical royalties generated from records, videos, online and ringtones came to €220.6 million ($352.7 million), a decline of €20 million ($31 million), or 8%.

Income from records alone saw a decline of €32.9 million ($52 million), or 15.3%, to €182 million ($290 million).

Collections from radio and television declined €20.1 million ($32 million), or 8.2%, to €224.9 million ($359.6 million) in 2007.

Heker expects the trends of recent years -- declining record sales and good prospects for live music -- to continue. "In general GEMA also expects for the business-year 2008 a further distinct decline of income," Heker adds.

There was a positive development for the field for legal music downloads last year, where GEMA reported a rise of more than 100% in revenue to €7.2 million ($11.5 million).