German collecting society GEMA has published its figures for 2016, reporting a new milestone: €1.02bn of collections on behalf of its members. It’s the first time GEMA has passed the billion-euros mark in a year.
“GEMA has never been as successful in financial terms as it has been in 2016. A plus of nearly 15% compared to the previous year led to the one-billion mark being crossed for the first time,” said CEO Dr Harald Heker.
It’s become familiar for rightsholders to accompany strong figures with warnings about the need for safe-harbour reform to prevent YouTube from impeding further growth, but in GEMA’s case, the society says its infamously-protracted licensing negotiations with YouTube, which resulted in a deal last November, played a role in its 2016 growth.
That plus streaming subscriptions helped GEMA’s collections from online music usage double to €81.6m last year. That said, GEMA collected more money from Germany’s levy on hardware like smartphones and tablets – its income from that source was €97.9m in 2016.
And yes, since you ask, Dr Heker did still call for safe-harbour reform: “Online platforms can still refer to an unclear legal situation,” he said. “Politicians are more than ever called upon to create a fair legal framework.”