The German Music Industry Grew 12.4% During 2021’s First Half — With Digital Accounting For Almost 80% of Revenues

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Apple antitrust Germany
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The German music industry turned in 12.4 percent YoY growth during 2021’s first six months. Photo Credit: Angelo Abear

German music industry revenues grew 12.4 percent year over year during 2021’s opening half, to $1.06 billion (€903.8 million), with digital’s share accounting for nearly 80 percent of the total, according to the Federal Music Industry Association (BVMI).

The BVMI revealed these and other noteworthy stats in its newly published half-year report, detailing the financial performance of the German music industry across this year’s initial six months. For reference, amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020’s first and second quarters brought with them about $918.26 million (€783.7 million) in music-industry earnings for the nation of approximately 84 million residents. The figure represents a 4.8 percent YoY improvement, and digital’s share grew to 74.2 percent.

In HY 2021, however, 78.6 percent of the German music industry’s $1.06 billion or so in earnings (“valued at retail basis including VAT”) derived from digital sources, per the BVMI’s analysis, with 70.6 percent of the income total (nearly $750 million) attributable to streaming.

The remaining eight percent of digital earnings came from downloads (3.3 percent) and “other digital,” including video streaming (4.7 percent). Within physical’s 21.4 percent ($226.66 million) of German music industry revenues, CDs accounted for 14.5 percent (down from 20 percent), against .6 percent for music DVDs and Blu-Rays (down from one percent), and .4 percent for “other physical” (up slightly from HY 2020).

Notably, vinyl’s popularity continued to grow in Germany during 2021’s opening half, to the tune of “a 49.5 percent increase in sales.” This uptick elevated the format from 4.5 percent of German music industry income to 5.9 percent – a point that bears emphasizing because vinyl sales, notwithstanding ongoing double-digit growth in the States, have decreased dramatically in certain countries.

Regarding vinyl’s performance in the United States, MRC Data’s 2021 half-year report specified that the format’s sales had hiked 108.2 percent year over year, to 19.2 million units. The figure marks a record high since MRC Data’s 1991 founding.

That music streaming now generates over 70 percent of revenues in the German music industry is worth bearing in mind as the major labels spearhead far-reaching efforts to put “fake stream” services out of commission in the European country. Similarly, the global music industry is still taking legal action against both “fake stream” operations and stream-ripping platforms in Brazil.

Latin America’s music industry achieved 15.9 percent YoY growth in 2020, according to the IFPI, and Brazil boasted the largest music market in the region at yearend. Furthermore, in the nation of approximately 211 million residents, streaming last year produced 84.1 percent of music-industry revenue, per the IFPI once again.