German Buying Behavior Study Shows Listeners Love Streaming, But More Willing to Get Physical

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HAMBURG — A University of Hamburg study commissioned by a collection of music industry organizations, including trade group BVMI and collecting society GEMA, has found an increasing willingness among German consumers to spend more money on the music they love. According to the "Music Use in Germany" study, released this week, respondents said they were more prone to lay down some euros for a physical album (up 4%) or a digital download (up 12%) than they were just a year ago.

The study also found that the use of paid music streaming services has increased to 26%, while appreciation of live music spending has jumped 9% since last examined. Unsurprisingly, ownership of smart speakers has seen a bump (up 4%), with 14% of respondents now saying they own one of the AI-enhanced devices. The vast majority of respondents who own a speaker (83%) said they primarily use it for music. With that rise in new tech, the use of old school stereo system are down 5%, according to the study.

People with a musical background have an above-average willingness to pay in all areas — though at the same time they consume less mainstream music and actively search for new music more often than more passive listeners.

These are some of the most recent findings of the long-term study on the development of music use in Germany, which is being carried out in six waves over a period of three years. The scientific director of the study is Prof. Dr. Michel Clement, of the University of Hamburg. The clients are many of the key organizations of Germany’s music industry: concert promoters BDKV; music industry trade org BVMI; collecting society GEMA; neighbouring rights org GVL; venues association LiveKomm; the Society of Music Merchants; and indie labels/publishers association VUT.

This is actually the third wave of data released as part of the study. It was based on interviews with 2,514 people between the ages of 16 and 70 living in Germany about their music use and buying behavior

"The study underlines what we also see in our own data,” said Dr. Florian Drücke, BVMI’s chairman and CEO. “The current overall positive development in the German music market, which is reflected, among other things, in the increasing use of music streaming services. The increasing willingness to pay for physical (+4 %) and digital albums (+12 %) is also very pleasing. This also shows that the industry's strategy of making music available in all formats and on all channels is paying off. Because the demand and the appreciation of the fans exists!"

He added, "In addition, the study is a valuable tool for the daily work of all industry players: Apart from the long-term trends in music consumption it shows, the detailed analyses and deeper insights into music usage and the cross-relationships between different user types are particularly exciting – from search criteria for music discovery to technical equipment and output behavior for different formats. The evaluation of the entire three-year period will then become interesting in the coming year."

Marc Schneider contributed to this report.


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