In the first six months of this year, the German market for music recordings grew by 5.5 percent compared to the same quarter of the previous year.

The turnover of 967 million euros is a "stable growth and shows that we are still on course, although the growth after the Corona-related particularly strong result in the previous year is somewhat weaker," said Florian Drücke, Chairman of the Federal Association of the Music Industry (BVMI). , the FAZ

Benjamin Fisher

Editor in Business.

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In the middle of last year there was still a significant increase of 12.4 percent for the first six months of the year.

Even before the pandemic in 2019, the half-year result was slightly better than this year at 7.9 percent.

Frank Briegmann, European boss of the market leader Universal Music, referred to the difficult environment in the course of the Ukraine war and its consequences: "The German music market remains stable even in economically and socially challenging times".

The balance sheet shows: “Music is a sought-after good under any circumstances”.

The number three in the industry, Warner Music, recently pointed to a possible weakening of growth due to the crisis.

pointed out in the course of the presentation of the quarterly figures and, for example, cited the weaker development of the advertising market.

Although the income from subscription money from Spotify and Co is the much more important part, advertising-financed offers also play a significant role and have recently grown significantly.

Spotify also reported an increase of 31 percent for the comparatively small advertising business for the past quarter.

The sales of the streaming market leader exceeded the forecast with a plus of 23 percent to 2.86 billion euros, but Spotify also points to potential risks due to the uncertain economic situation.

Plus for streaming and vinyl, minus for CD

Audio streaming is and will remain the growth driver for the industry - globally as well as in Germany.

At the end of the first half of the year, the share in total sales increased by 9.1 percent to 73.3 percent.

Together with the small items downloads or video streaming, 80.2 percent of sales in Germany now come from digital.

The existing trends also continued in the physical area.

The CD continues to lose ground and has a share of 12.8 percent.

At 6.5 percent, the minus has slowed down compared to 2021 (16.4 percent).

Vinyl records, which are usually much more expensive, continue to gain ground and come with a plus of 12.3 percent to 6.2 percent of the half-year result.

The streaming services - whether Spotify, Youtube Music, the providers from Apple and Amazon or Deezer - generally distribute around two thirds of their income to the various rights holders in the music industry.

The significantly larger part falls on the rights to the recording.

What ultimately matters to performers and songwriters is largely dependent on the individual contracts with the label, publisher or distributor.

In view of the great and still growing importance of streaming, there is a lively discussion about the distribution of income and the billing of the services.

As an alternative to the current billing system, in which the funds are distributed according to the respective market share of the works, a user-centric system is being brought into play.

Constitutional complaint against copyright reform

While the debate has long since arrived at the political level in Great Britain, for example, things have been much quieter in Germany so far.

The traffic light coalition now wants to make 500,000 euros available for a study on music streaming.

This investigation "certainly makes sense in order to objectify the debate on the basis of facts," said BVMI boss Drücke.

"But for a well-founded and fact-oriented view of the complex streaming business, it must be ensured that the chosen methodology has no bias and that the various participants are involved and heard accordingly".

So far no details are known, but the BVMI is of course ready for an exchange.

With regard to the coalition, he complains about a general lack of commitment to the industry: "A real interest in the music industry and the creative industries has unfortunately not yet manifested itself in the current government coalition beyond the text of the coalition agreement," said Drücke.

The announced constitutional complaint against the copyright reform was also filed in the first half of the year.

"This in the conviction that the 15-second rule that affects us and the additional claim for remuneration violate German constitutional law and European law and that a judicial clarification is necessary in this respect."