TV monitoring of the public broadcasters

The public broadcasters have commissioned the Spanish company BMAT to provide and operate the new reporting system. The so-called "audio fingerprint technology" will be used.

How does the monitoring reporting procedure work?

The broadcast signal is evaluated using audio monitoring technology. Audio fingerprinting files are created for the used and recognised music in the programs. Each created audio fingerprinting file gets compared with the audio fingerprints stored in the reference database. If there is a match, the stored metadata of the audio fingerprint is transferred from the reference database, together with the programme data of the broadcast, into a usage notification and forwarded to GEMA and GVL.

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The used music gets compared with the stored audio fingerprints. The recognised music is enriched with information on the work title, author, etc. from the audio fingerprint and forwarded to GEMA and GVL as a usage report (music report).

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Why is it important for authors to upload recordings of their works?

The upload of commissioned compositions ensures that these works are recognised in the monitoring procedure and are included in the broadcasters' usage reports. For these circumstances, the sound file upload is the necessary basis for participation in the distribution on 01.07. of each year and for subsequent distributions. If a sound file is not available to you, the broadcaster is of course still responsible for a complete report of your music usage.

It is not necessary to upload commercial music such as music published on sound carriers, as this is usually already available to the monitoring service provider BMAT.

Where can I upload the recordings?

GEMA members (authors and publishers) and GEMA music users can use GEMA's sound file upload service in the online portal.

After uploading and approval for the "Monitoring of Music Usage in Television and Radio Programmes", the sound files are immediately transferred to the new reporting system of ARD, ZDF, DLR and DW or to the monitoring service provider.

To upload 

File formats: preferably WAV and MP3 (320 kbps)

This portal accepts sound files for all musical works registered with GEMA.

Sound files for commissioned compositions should be uploaded at least 14 days before broadcast. In addition, the musical work should be registered with GEMA as soon as possible. This ensures that your music can be recognised in the regular monitoring process for the notification procedure and that the use can be reported promptly.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions about TV monitoring

The changeover to the new reporting process with the support of monitoring technology began in May 2019 at the public broadcasters ARD, ZDF and Deutschlandfunk. From October 2019, the reports of almost all associated television and radio broadcasters are based on this procedure. Since the GEMA distribution for the financial year 2019 as of 01.07.2020 in the divisions of the broadcasting right (divisions R, R VR, FS, FS VR), the data from this reporting system are therefore included.

The complaint rules of the GEMA distribution plan remain unaffected.

Based on the current and future processes in the notification procedure of the public broadcasters, it is essential not only for successful complaint processing, but also in particular for participation in subsequent distributions that GEMA members upload the sound file with the complaint at the latest. This is not only indispensable for the claimed uses that were already the subject of the monitoring procedure in the current distribution (in particular commercial music, production and commissioned music for television and radio), but will also become relevant for further music uses by the public broadcasters in the future.

Therefore, if not already done, please upload the sound file for each work that is subject of a complaint.  The quickest way to do this is via the sound file upload in our online portal at
Then complain about the missing or  incorrect distribution quickly and easily by using our Complaint service in the online portal.

 If the sound file for the corresponding musical work is not accessible to you, you can also complain about your distribution without uploading a sound file.

Your details will be forwarded by GEMA, including the ideally uploaded soundfiles, to the broadcasters for processing.

You will further information on this page

The reporting system is based on the support of monitoring technology. The public broadcasters generate the notifications for GEMA in different ways:

For uses of commercial music as well as production and commissioned music, the notifications are regularly generated by means of audio fingerprint technology. If the respective sound file is available to the monitoring service provider BMAT, the procedure provides for automatic recognition.  The prerequisite for automatic recognition is that the sound file has been uploaded to one of the soundfile upload portals of GEMA, ARD, or ZDF and that it meets the applicable qualitative requirements. For film productions that have already been the subject of previous GEMA distributions, the broadcasters can dispense with detection by means of the monitoring procedure if they can already generate notifications based on GEMA's identifier (so-called AVW number). GEMA supplies AVW numbers (GEMA identifier) to ARD and ZDF for film productions with a high potential for repetition or take-over by other broadcasters, based on which the usage reports are generated by the broadcasters.

The provision of the data for live and live cuts of all genres in radio and television is ensured by the broadcasters.       

Manual reprocessing by the broadcasters in case of unidentified music usage in the music reporting system supports the reports.

The monitoring procedure determines the actual length of works used. This is displayed  to GEMA in the broadcasting report and used as the basis for determining the distribution amount .

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