Digital Revenue Sparks Growth in German Music Market


First-half figures are up by 1.5 percent to $880 million, driven by a boost in online downloads and streaming services.

COLOGNE, Germany – Booming digital revenues have reversed more than a decade of decline in the German music industry. Official figures released Monday by the German music industry association BVMI show revenues for the first half of 2013 up 1.5 percent to $880 million (€660 million), driven by growth in online downloads and music streaming services such as Spotify.

While the sale of traditional CDs continues to slide, dipping 2.7 percent in the first half, revenue from music streaming shot up some 105 percent over the same period. Online music downloads from services such as iTunes enjoyed 5.3 percent growth. Digital sales now account for just under a quarter of all music revenues in Germany, with downloads making up around 20 percent of total sales and streaming revenue accounting for 4.6 percent.

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BVMI managing director Florian Drucke noted that unlike other territories, where digital offerings have cannibalized physical CD sales, in Germany the overall size of the market has remained stable.

Drucke pointed to traditional vinyl records, which continue to enjoy a comeback, with sales soaring 30 percent in the first half. Vinyl sales account for 1.8 percent of total music revenue in the territory. And even with digital revenues growing apace, physical CDs continue to dominate the market, accounting for more than two thirds of overall sales.