Streaming Music Grows 40% while Vinyl Sales Notably Decline in Germany

Germany still remains a strong market for physical formats — at least for now.

According to a new report, streaming music has sharply grown in Germany.

Physical sales, including CDs and vinyl, however, have experienced a significant decline.

That’s according to the German music association Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI).

With a record 79.5 billion streams, streaming music grew 40% in Germany in 2018.  CDs declined with 48.2 million units sold, down 23% over 2017.  In a shocking drop, vinyl sales fell 7%, with BVMI tracking only 3 million records sold.

Dr. Florian Drücke, CEO of BVMI, stated,

Looking at the sales in the past year, we see continued strong growth in the area of streaming.

He explained,

The new streaming records set every year clearly demonstrate how massively the way music is consumed today is changing.  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.

Drücke added physical music videos in DVD and Blu-ray are still selling respectably.  Consumers purchased 2.6 million units.

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.

BVMI also noted that premium subscribers accounted for 86% of all audio streams.

Despite the sharp decline, the German music association believes the country remains a strong market for physical sales, behind the US and Japan.

As digital license revenues “have become the lifeblood of the [music] industry,” said Drücke, it requires updated regulations.

He explained,

This leads directly to the topic of the value gap and the reform of EU copyright law, the likely final, decisive trialogue negotiations for which begin on Monday.

On behalf of the industry, I call once more for all involved to think about the market conditions outlined and to take the appropriate legislative steps accordingly.

“Strengthen rightsholders, hold online platforms accountable, and thus create a level playing field in the digital environment.

The required update will stimulate investment in cultural diversity.

 


Featured image by Julieta Álvarez Leal (CC by 2.0).