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This is how GEMA distributes its money

At a concert, in a bar or on the internet: Whenever music is used in public in Germany, a GEMA licence fee is due in most cases. But what actually happens to the collected licence fees? Find out how GEMA distributes the money collected via licence fees and why you also need to pay GEMA for the music created by foreign artists. 
Licensing income

We license exploitation rights. And we distribute the collected revenues.

We are a collective management organisation and thus ensure that our member receive royalties for the use of their works. This works as follows:

  • Members, in other words creators, assign the exploitation rights for their works so that we can take care of the rights management.
  • Rights management in this context means that we issue exploitation rights licences to music users and collect licence fees in return.
  • We then distribute such revenue in the form of royalties to our members and the members of other collective management organisations.
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Non-profit community

Profits for music

GEMA is a non-profit community. As a collective management organisation, our purpose is not to make profit but to pay out the collected revenue to the music creators whose rights we manage. The only deductions made are our administration costs and the monies which we make available to our members for social and cultural support measures. Good for culture. And a profit, or rather a win for music, and for all those who live for it and from it.

The distribution is governed in detail by the GEMA distribution plan. Our members have set out these rules and standards and can resolve amendments in the annual General Assembly.

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Payouts to creators in Germany

Thousands of music creators, lyricists and music publishers in Germany are a part of GEMA. As a large creative community, we perceive the rights of our members and ensure that they get paid royalties (income). How much our members is paid depends on how often, in what way and where their works are used.

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Payouts to creators abroad

Did you know? Music knows no borders; that’s why we also pay out collected revenue to music creators abroad. In return, we receive royalties on behalf of our members from collective management organisations based abroad (our so-called “sister organisations”).

GEMA as a community of solidarity

As a great community of solidarity of creators, we stand for a strong and diverse music culture. We therefore provide support to our members in the form of social and cultural services.

We therefore also called a GEMA social fund into life: A social compensation fund which pays out benefits in old age, in cases of illness, accidents and need.

Get help – quickly!

If you need us, our help centre offers answers to your questions – it is quick and easy to use and accessible to you 24/7 – and there are no waiting times.

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