According to year-end figures from the German Music Association (BVMI) the number of CDs sold in the country fell to 48.2 mn which is around 23 % drop compared to 2017, while vinyl sales totaled 3 mn, a surprising 7 % drop.
Germany still remains a strong market for physical formats. According to the report, the music streaming market has sharply grown in Germany.
With a record 79.5 bn streams, streaming music grew 40% in Germany in 2018. The third most popular format in Germany last year was downloads, with a total of 49 mn purchases, of which 7.5 mn were albums and 41.5 mn individual tracks.
“Looking at the sales in the past year, we see a continued strong growth in the area of streaming,” said Dr. Florian Drücke, CEO of the BVMI, who added that the physical music videos (DVD/Blu-Ray) also made the top 5 in terms of music formats, with 2.6 mn units sold.
The only country where physical music remains as buoyant as it is in Germany is Japan, where, according to IFPI stats, physical music sales represented as much as 73% of total record industry revenues as recently as 2016.
The physical music video format (DVD/Blu-ray) also made it into the Top 5 most-sold music formats, with 2.6 mn units purchased.
“Many younger fans can be found almost exclusively online. This change underlines how the earnings of artists and their partners will, in the short to medium term, have to be generated to a large extent from digital uses. Digital licence revenues have become the lifeblood of the industry. For this transition, the industry needs support from politicians in the form of regulations which are fit for the modern age.” Florian added
BVMI noted that premium subscribers of digital services accounted for 86 % of all audio streams. Despite the downward trends, the industry believes a strong market remains for physical products in the country, the third biggest music market globally, after the U.S. and Japan, where CD sales also remain strong.