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German Music Market Up in 2014 on Continued Strength of CDs, Rise in Streaming

German Music Biz Sales in the German music market rose slightly in 2014 for the second consecutive year, according to initial projections.

Sales in the German music market rose slightly in 2014 for the second consecutive year, according to initial projections. This was announced today by the Federal Association of the Music Industry (BVMI) in Berlin and the German market research company GfK Entertainment in Baden-Baden. The industry generated a total of 1.48 billion euros last year, about 1.8 percent more than in 2013, through the sales of CDs, vinyl, downloads and revenues from music streaming.

BVMI managing director Dr. Florian Drücke said in a statement that “2014 reaffirmed a special feature of the German market. While in many other countries physical sound carriers have decreased rapidly within just a few years, CDs and records in Germany last year still accounted for about 75 percent of sales.”

German Music Market Dips in First Half of 2014 as CD Format Dominates

The report notes that the drop in physical music sales has slowed in the market — at a calculated rate of 1 percent in 2014 compared to 2 percent the previous year.

In addition, the digital business has grown by more than 12 percent. Music streaming is primarily responsible for this development. BVMI will publish the final market data and detailed analyses of all sub-markets in March.

“Germany’s music industry has been able to affirm the turnaround of the previous year,” Frank Briegmann, president of central Europe for Universal Music Group, told Billboard. “For us this means that our content is good. And so are the distribution channels. We have done three things: We have supported innovative music services like streaming, developed established formats like CDs and downloads, and most of all, never stopped investing in homegrown talent. The music consumer has a lot more choice than ever before — physical products as well as an increasing choice of digital products and services, for download or to stream. In that sense, 2014 has been a win-win-win year — for fans, artists and the industry as a whole.”

Seven of the ten most successful albums were from national artists, according to the German trade magazine Musikmart. The most successful albums in 2014 were from: 1. Helene Fischer; 2. AC/DC; 3. Unheilig; 4. Xavier Naidoo; 5. Pink Floyd; 6. Herbert Grönemeyer; 7. Peter Maffay; 8. Kollegah; 9. Santiano; 10. Andreas Gabalier

BMG was the most successful music publisher in Germany with a market share of 18 percent, according to the official German Top 100 singles chart. The achievement comes just six years after the launch of the Bertelsmann-owned international rights management company, and is more than double the 7.7 percent share BMG scored in 2013. The year-end figures, compiled by research company GfK Entertainment are based on publishers shares of the German Top 100 singles chart. BMG’s artists and writers held 11 Top Five positions in 2014, including five Number One hits.

German Music Market Dips in First Half of 2014 as CD Format Continues to Dominate

The German music market saw a 0.8 percent dip after a weaker performance in the first half of 2014.

The music market in Germany saw a 0.8 percent dip after a weaker performance in the first half of 2014. As the German Federal Music Industry Association (BVMI) reported today, revenues from physical and digital music sales totaled $656 million euros in the first six months of 2014 — four million euros less than in the first half of 2013.

A look at the official German album charts shows that the trend towards German-language music continued in the first half of the year. Nine German artists are represented in the Top 10 album charts — the highest proportion of German music in the history of the Top 10 album charts.

As for popularity, the year’s best-selling artist is singer Helene Fischer with her Universal album Farbenspiel, which sold more than 1.5 million copies in the first half of 2014.

The CD format continues to be the key driver of revenue, again recording only a slight decrease (-3.6 percent). It continues to generate two-thirds (65.6 percent) of total revenues in the German music market. The segment with the highest growth was subscription-based and advertising-funded music streaming (+77 percent), which now accounts for 7.7 percent of the market. Vinyl also continues to be successful, growing by 34.5 percent compared to the first half of 2013, and increasing its market share to 2.4 percent. Sales of music videos, physical singles and cassettes continued their downward trend of recent years (-10.4 percent, -31.2 percent and -39.3 percent, respectively), with the cassette now no longer playing any role in the music scene after marking its 50th anniversary last year.

See the German Charts

Revenues from digital businesses grew by 7.5 percent overall to 174 million euros. With a revenue share of 26.5 percent, digital sales accounted for more than a quarter of turnover in the German music industry. Even though revenues from downloads fell for the first time (down 7.1 percent) they remain the second most important source of cash in the German music industry, with a share of 18.6 percent.

“We’re seeing a comparatively stable overall market development in Germany, with the CD continuing to play a decisive role,” said BVMI managing director Dr. Florian Drücke. “Unlike in other countries, consumption of music in Germany is shifting to the digital world at a more moderate pace.”

Frank Briegmann, president of Central Europe Universal and Deutsche Grammophon in Berlin, said to Billboard: “The music industry is the first content sector to have been able to monetize its content on a sustained and broad basis online. It provides a template for digitization and, as such, is now being regularly approached by other sectors seeking advice.” 

Against this backdrop, Briegmann says that he is optimistic about the future, stating that the focus is back on content, that demand is strong and that the ongoing technological advances are all for the benefit of the content industry.