German Music Industry Points to Streaming for Recent Growth Spurt

In the first seven months of 2015, the German music market increased six percent compared to the same period last year. 

The increase is due largely to positive sales and chart performances by domestic German artists, among them Helene Fischer, Sarah Connor, Freiwild, Deichkind, Unheilig and Santiano

The announcement was made by Frank Briegmann, Universal Music Group’s president of Central Europe and a board member of the German music industry association (BVMI), at its annual sales convention in Berlin. 

"The German music market is growing," Briegmann said. "In the album charts, domestic acts have a share of 73 percent. This is a top margin in German music history."

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The UMG chief continued, saying internet companies benefit from artists and their music. "Our content constitutes the heart of the social web and it is the reason why many digital platforms have the amount of traffic they have," he said. "Without streaming the market would have decreased nearly 1 percent. Streaming drives market growth."

Briegmann also pointed out that the top ten clips on YouTube were music videos, and noted that on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, artists and their repertoire dominate. He reported that the top 10 clips on YouTube were music videos from international artists like Psy, Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Enrique Iglesias, Meghan Trainor and Mark Ronson and others.

According to Briegmann, a political framework is needed which would guarantee fair compensation and a closure of "the value gap."

Many consumers who are using streaming services are paying for music for the first time, Briegmann pointed out. Streaming saw an 87 percent increase in the first seven months and now accounts for 12.8 percent of German music sales.

"We should not care so much about how many streams you need [in order] to earn one euro, but to increase the share of subscribers and to raise the total turnover," Briegmann said. He emphasized that the music industry is, for the moment, the first and only business that has succeeded in monetizing its digital content on a sustained, worldwide basis.

The highlight of the sales conference in Berlin was a spontaneous duet by global stars Justin Bieber and Bryan Adams performing Justin Bieber's hit "Baby." Also on stage were among others The Common Linnets, Spanish singer Alvaro Soler, singer-songwriter Alessia Cara, classical star Albrecht Mayer and the Irish folk group Celtic Woman.