Sony Music Germany Focuses on Domestic Talent, Catching Up To Universal at 'Laut in Munchen'
Sony Music Germany Focuses on Domestic Talent, Catching Up To Universal at 'Laut in Munchen'

Sony Music Entertainment highlighted its development of new domestic artists as the key to catching up with market leader Universal Music at Germany's annual "Laut in München" ("Loud in Munich") presentation October 20. Nine-hundred business and media representatives gathered in Munich to review the label's 2011's business performance.

"We are the most successful newcomer's company. Sony Music accounts for half of all breakthrough artists in the GSA region," said Philip Ginthör, who took over as CEO Sony Music Entertainment GSA in August, after Edgar Berger was appointed President and CEO of International. The former CEO flew in from London to attend the presentation, where his successor announced an intention "to continue emphatically with our course that has led us to expand our market share in Germany, Switzerland and Austria for three years in a row. As an entertainment company, it is our utmost concern to find new talent and develop it with our partners."

The gap between Sony Music Germany and market leader Universal Music has indeed narrowed in recent months. The company now accounts for a long-play market share of 24 percent, nine points behind Universal's 33 percent. One year ago, Universal held 42 percent and Sony followed with 23 percent. These figures suggest, though, that 2011's tighter competition is due more to diminished performance by Universal than to Sony's only slightly increased market share.

Despite Sony's success with Alexandra Stan's "Mr. Saxobeat", which Ginthör referred to as the "summer hit" of 2011, Universal is comfortably in the lead in the singles segment, with 44 percent followed by Sony's 22 percent.
Ginthör also listed gold-certified new artist such as Jupiter Jones, Alexandra Stan, Zaz and Tim Bendzko as successful developments. The latter, a 26-year-old singer/songwriter from Berlin, performed live alongside Marit Larsen (Norway), Oh Land (Denmark) and domestic artists such as Johannes Strate and Dick Brave.

Recently appointed CEO of Sony Music Entertainment GSA Philip Ginthör

Established domestic Sony artists such as Peter Maffay and Andrea Berg have also performed well on the charts this year. Berg is currently Sony Music Germany's most successful album artist.

André Mühlhausen, Senior Vice President Sales & Distribution GSA, took the opportunity to thank Sony's retail partners, 180 of whom had come to Munich: "Last year, I asked you to provide larger sales areas for our products and to be open to innovation. This year, all I want to say is thank you, since we increased our revenues and market share with your support."

Sony Music has held "Laut in München" ("Loud in Munich") each fall since 2008 -- the first year the major company opted not to attend Popkomm, and instead created its own business event. The once thriving trade fair in Berlin has been fighting dwindling attendance for years. In 2011, none of the majors participated in Popkomm.