German live entertainment biz shrinking

Music concert revenue drops seven percent

BERLIN -- The live entertainment business is contracting in Germany according to the results of a survey conducted by market research company GfK of Nuremberg on behalf of the German Federal Live Entertainment Association (idkv) in Hamburg, which is to be published in full in September.

The survey reveals that the audience for live entertainment in Germany totaled 32.7 million people in 2008 (2007: 34 million). This total audience purchased 118.7 million tickets (2007: 127.3 million) for live entertainment events.

At the same time, 2008 saw a 7% decline in revenues to €3.6 billion ($5.1 billion), compared to a 2007 total of €3.9 billion ($5.5 billion) according to the study. Of this, music concerts contributed €2.6 billion ($3.7 billion), a decline of 7% on 2007's €2.8 billion ($4 billion).

The survey also found that 74.5 million music event tickets were sold, down 9% on 2007 (82.3 million). Non-music audience numbers remained stable with ticket sales coming to around 44 million (2007: 45 million).

Ticket prices across all categories of live entertainment were up 3% on 2007, with the average price coming to €30.39 ($43.20) in 2008 compared to €29.45 ($41.80) a year earlier. The average ticket price for musicals was €60 ($85.20), which was unchanged from a year earlier, while ticket prices in the foreign-language rock/pop segment averaged €38 ($54) a fall of 13% on the 2007 average of €43.75 ($62.10).

Peter Schwenkow, CEO of promoter DEAG in Berlin, struck a more positive note. "[Overall] business is stable, but DEAG is growing," he says.

The German Federal Live Entertainment Association will not be releasing any statement until the entire study has been published.