Germany’s collecting society Gema has reported its latest financials, revealing that it generated revenues of €1.02bn in 2018 (around $1.15bn) while paying out €859.5m to its 74,000 members that year. The revenues were actually €55m down on 2017’s total, although Gema was quick to point out that “considerable extraordinary income” in 2017 skewed its total – and that if this is factored out, the revenues were actually up by 10.3% year-on-year.
As with other industry figures, Gema is seeing growth from streaming that is outweighing the decline in physical sales. In its case, digital revenues grew to €105.5m, from €70m the previous year, while income from physical sales dropped from €96.1m to €81m – thus being overtaken by the digital side.
CEO Dr Harald Heker used the figures as the latest spur for a ‘value gap’ comment. “The very positive earnings trend in the online sector confirms that more music is used via the internet than ever before. This development must not distract from the fact that a huge gap still exists between the remuneration for music authors and the revenue of big online platforms which make profit with the use of works protected by copyright,” he said in a statement.