What Global Pandemic? Germany’s Recorded Music Industry Grows 4.8% In 2020

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Berlin, Germany. Photo Credit: Stefan Widua

Despite the far-reaching economic and social effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Germany’s recorded music industry grew by nearly five percent during this year’s first six months.

The Federal Music Industry Association (BVMI), a trade group that represents the interests of approximately 90 percent of the German recorded music industry, disclosed the year-over-year boost in a press release. Specifically, Germany’s recorded music revenue increased 4.8 percent from 2019’s first half, to about $929.2 million (€783.7 million). Predictably, digital sources, including streaming, downloads, ringtones, and music video plays, accounted for the majority of the income, 74.2 percent (roughly $689.47 million). For reference, BVMI indicated earlier this year that 66 percent of 2019’s recorded music income was attributable to digital.

5.1 percent (almost $47.39 million) of German recorded music industry revenue derived from digital song purchases, between January and June 2020, whereas ringtones and other video streaming produced 3.5 percent (close to $32.52 million). Lastly, CD sales contributed approximately $185.84 million (20 percent) to the earnings total, in addition to about $41.81 million (4.5 percent) from vinyl, $9.29 million (one percent) from music DVDs and Blu-Rays, and $2.79 million (.3 percent) from physical singles.

Video streaming’s 3.5 percent of German recorded music industry income (through 2020’s initial six months, once again) represents a nearly 33 percent jump, compared to 2019’s figure, and expectedly, CD sales fell almost 23 percent – double the rate of decline across Q1 and Q2 2019. Notably, notwithstanding the CD’s continued falloff and COVID-19’s impact upon physical retail, vinyl sales enjoyed a 4.6 percent uptick in 2020’s opening half. This success is especially significant because vinyl record sales hiked 13.3 percent in Germany during 2019.

Last month, we reported on Nielsen/MRC Data’s analysis of the stateside recorded music industry during 2020’s first six months. In the U.S., vinyl LP sales grew 11.2 percent, compared to the initial six months of 2019, likely setting the stage for vinyl’s 15th consecutive year of heightened sales in America. However, total digital audio consumption growth, at nine percent, was modest relative to that of Germany.

Digital Music News also covered trends within Canada’s recorded music market through June 2020. Data suggests that Canadian fans are more quickly (and thoroughly) shifting away from physical music and embracing streaming. Year-over-year increases in listeners’ on-demand streaming habits outpaced those of American fans, and far from experiencing better results (as in Germany and the States), Canada’s vinyl sales dropped exactly 26 percent year over year. Canada and the U.S. shared the best-selling vinyl record – Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? – but the work moved 85,000 units stateside and just 3,000 units in Canada.