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Income from music recordings in Germany rose by 9% to USD 2 billion last year thanks to the lockdown boom in streaming

Germany delivered some positive news for the global record industry today (March 4th).

According to the local industry association BVMI, the country’s revenue from the sale and streaming of physical music in retail stores in 2020 increased 9% year-over-year to EUR 1.79 billion (approximately $ 2.02 billion).

Needless to say, this growth happened despite the pandemic.

A good three quarters of German sales in 2020 (71.5%) came from digital music.

Audio streaming in particular boomed during the lockdown in Germany – the fourth largest music market in the world (after the US, Japan, and the UK) – growing 24.6% year-on-year.

In 2020, sales of Spotify, Apple Music and other music streaming services in Germany amounted to EUR 1.13 billion (USD 1.27 billion).

The share of audio streaming in total sales was 63.4% in 2020 (55.1% in 2019).

In contrast to the streaming growth in Germany last year, CD sales in the market fell by 18% year-on-year and suffered significantly from closed stores during the quarantine.

Despite this decline, the CD remains the second strongest format on the German record market after streaming with a share of 21.6% of sales in 2020.

Streaming overtook CDs as the highest-earning format on the German music market for the first time in the first half of 2018.

In 2020, CD sales in Germany amounted to 387 million euros.

Elsewhere in the market, vinyl sales rose 24.7% year-on-year to EUR 99 million and had a total market share of 5.5%.

Sales of all physically recorded pieces of music – including CD and vinyl – fell significantly by 11.7% year-on-year.

After a decline of 24.8%, downloads only make up 4.2% of the German music market.

“What was already shown in the summer has been confirmed: The good digital positioning of our member companies in recent years means that our industry is currently getting through the crisis well in terms of total sales.”

Dr. Florian Drücke, BVMI

Dr. Florian Drücke, Chairman and CEO of BVMI, said: “What was already clear in the summer has been confirmed: The good digital positioning of our member companies in recent years means that our industry is currently weathering the crisis well in terms of total sales – before Because of the restrictions on public life caused by the pandemic, fans willy-nilly have increasingly supplied themselves with music in the digital space, which has given us an overall growth of 9%.

“Without a doubt, this is very good news for the time being. However, it shouldn’t obscure two things: First, as we all know, artists and our sister industries, especially the live business, have been dramatically affected by the lockdowns and long-term consequences of the concert cancellations within our tightly-knit realms of the industrial world not yet foreseeable. “

Drücke added: “On the other hand, the increasing digital share of currently 71.5% inevitably means a significantly increasing urgency with regard to robust framework conditions in the network.

“Just as important for us is a better understanding of the digital playing field, which does not ignore the economic realities of our industry!

“The German implementation of the Copyright Directive must not damage the delicate license architecture for music companies and artists – because the European compromise wants the opposite: authors and their partners should better participate in the income from upload platforms for users such as YouTube. Video streaming is one of the most popular online usage channels, but does not even contribute 4% to total sales in Germany!

“Especially in a fast-paced and highly competitive environment, the legislature must not forget this. Ultimately, the same question arises when designing the legal framework in Germany as when combating the consequences of the pandemic: What is the value of the cultural and creative industries in our country? “Music business worldwide


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