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Streaming overtakes CD sales but German music industry revenues dipped in 2018



The Federal Association of Music Industry (BVMI) announced that the German music industry made a total of 1.582 billion euros in recorded music revenue in 2018. This is 0.4 percent less than in 2017. Music sales came from all available formats which are streaming, CD, digital downloads, and vinyl.

With a record 79.5 billion streams, streaming music grew 40% in Germany in 2018.

Germany- a strong market for physical sales

CD sales remain a significant contributor to the German music industry, accounting for 36.4% of sales.  But CD sales were down by 19.9% in 2018, while downloads fell by 21.9%. It is this decline along with diminishing download sales (7.8%), that affected the overall revenue of the German music industry in 2018.

Downloads remain a popular and strong format in the country with 49 million purchases. Of that amount, consumers purchased 7.5 million albums and 41.5 million individual tracks.

Dr. Florian Pressures, CEO, BVMI said, “After four years of growth, industry sales are now in the second year on a plateau, which is not bad news. Rather, the German music industry is still on course in the current phase of transformation, even though we see a decline of 20 percent in the CD, which still contributes significantly to sector earnings and has a correspondingly high relevance for the overall balance sheet.”

Breaking down the report, 56.7% of all recorded music revenue last year came from digital sources. Of that amount, streaming music now accounts for 46.4% of all revenue, digital downloads 7.8%, and other digital sources including on-demand streaming video services (i.e., YouTube) – 2.6%.

“The fact that the market is stable is due to the continuing substantial growth in audio streaming: an increase of 33.5% on an already very high level shows the great acceptance by the fans. A very good sign for the coming years, because it is also an indicator of the increasing willingness of users to pay.” Dr. Florian added

Physical sales made up just 43.3% of Germany’s recorded music revenue last year. Of that amount, 36.4% came from CD sales. Vinyl sales contributed 5.2% with a low market share of 4.4% share. Music DVDs/Blu-Rays had 2.1% and other physical sales had a 0.4% share. Germany has typically been a buoyant market for physical sales (similar to Japan) and it was reported by the BVMI in H1/2018 that streaming has become the preferred choice of music consumption in the country.


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Abhishek Singh

Author: Abhishek Singh

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