The latest country to record a rise in music sales is Germany, with first-half recorded revenues up 1.5% year-on-year to €660m.
Like other markets that have seen such growth, it’s the first rise in more than a decade. And while digital is playing its part, one of the quirks of the German market is the continued importance of physical music sales too.
Billboard breaks down industry body the BVMI’s figures: 75.5% of recorded music revenues in Germany still came from physical sales in the first half of this year, including CD sales that slipped by just 2.7% year-on-year, and vinyl sales that rose by more than 30%.
Download sales were up 5.3% and now generate around 20% of overall revenues, while streaming revenues doubled and are now 4.6% of the German market.
Rightsholders are predictably bullish: “Music is back again – not least of all in economic terms,” says Universal’s Frank Briegmann. “There is virtually no technology vendor or platform operator who can afford to do without an attractive offer of music. After a period in which the main focus was on technological innovation, content is king again.”
While his confidence is unsurprising, it’s digital growth over the next 2-3 years that will be important to track. In the first half of 2012, downloads grew by just under 37% year-on-year, so the 5.3% growth in the first half of 2013 may be cause for concern.
That said, streaming revenues have accelerated: they were up around 41% in the first half of 2012, but doubled by the first half of 2013 – showing the impact of growing streaming competition in Germany.