The UK has been at the forefront of the debates about the streaming economy in recent times, so perhaps it’s time for the spotlight to switch elsewhere. Germany, for example.
Collecting society GEMA has commissioned a report from consultancy firm Goldmedia on music streaming in Germany, and it draws some punchy conclusions.
Before that, it includes a summary of the market. 45% of the German population are using music streaming services, with around two thirds of those people on paid subscriptions.
The report suggests that Spotify is used by 28% of the German population (over 14s), ahead of Amazon Music (14%), Apple Music and SoundCloud (both 6%), although YouTube’s free service outstrips them all with 58% penetration.
Streaming is expected to be a €2bn market in Germany in 2022, but in the report’s survey of 4,278 GEMA members, it found that 89% of the music creators see the remuneration they get from streaming as ‘inadequate’.
That’s backed by analysis claiming that the value of 1,000 music streams in Germany peaked at €10.58 in 2016, but has since declined to €8.12 – the result of the growth in streams outpacing the growth in streaming revenues.
One of the pointed graphs in the report compares the unchanged price of Spotify’s subscription tiers to the increases for Netflix’s Premium (from €11.99 a month in 2015 to €17.99 in 2022) and Standard (from €9.99 to €12.99 in the same period) tiers. It’s a clear nudge for streaming services to explore price hikes in Germany.
Half of the GEMA members surveyed strongly agree (in this methodology, answering 10 in a 1-to-10 scale) that streaming services keep too big a share of revenues compared to rightsholders.
Elsewhere in the study, sights are trained on playlists and recommendation algorithms too, with strong agreement for a question about whether both need more transparency.
There are positives too: a recognition that streaming can help musicians to reach more listeners and opens up marketing and promotion opportunities; and an openness to evolving the business models around it (user-centric payments for example).
It’s a good summary of where opinions are currently at on the creator/rightsholder side of things in Germany, one of the biggest recorded music markets. An English-language summary of the key findings is here, while the full German-language report can be found here.