Current information about the payouts can be found here.

Distribution of entertainment and dance music events (U/UD)

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Live income. Fairly distributed thanks to setlists.

Live music is always something special. This applies to town fêtes or festivals and in marquees, at carnival sessions and parades. Real highlights are live concerts and festivals to which music fans often flock in their thousands. This is made possible not least by our members: They compose the music, write the lyrics or publish the works. In order for them to receive an appropriate and fair share of the revenues, we require information on the works actually performed at an event. Organisers of live music events are therefore obliged to submit setlists to us.

Live music (U) categories – simply explained

In the U category, we distribute income from live events all over Germany. These can be live concerts, festivals, town fêtes etc. U stands for “Unterhaltungsmusik”, i.e. entertainment or dance music. That does, however, not mean that it’s just about entertainment here: The category serves to help us make a distinction with regard to your distribution. In this context, U music is everything that is not categorised as E music, also known as “ernste” or “serious” music.

We distribute the collected revenues “per programme”, that means based on the actually used works. To do this, we need a list of the titles played - the so-called music sequence or setlist - from the organizers for each performance. We receive quite a few of them: For the live sector alone, we process about 550,000 setlists per year (before COVID-19).

Drei Personen jubeln vor einer Festivalbühne.

Live distribution at a glance

This is how the categories are divided up:
The categories are broken down into U (entertainment music – collective distribution with various segments) and into UD (U direct distribution).

In the U category, income from live events, e.g. from concerts, town fêtes, festivals or other events of any kind with live music is distributed.

Licensing income from events with collections of more than € 500 (category U, segments 9-12) and collections from special events e.g. final rehearsals, open music making, performances in hospitals (category UD) is subject to a direct distribution.

Where the revenues come from:
We receive licensing income for live events in the entertainment music sector, e.g. concerts subject to tariff U-K, as well as for live events with background music subject to tariff U-V.

Underlying usage information:
​​In the case of live music, a music sequence or setlist must be submitted for each performance. This is ideally done via the Online Portal under the service My setlists - by the event organiser but also by the performing musicians.

How the income is distributed:
Events with licensing income of up to € 500 are distributed collectively. To do this, we calculate a standard performance value (point value). The value of a performance of a work thus depends on various tariff-, performance- or work-dependent factors.

In the case of the direct distribution, we distribute the licensing income for an event (after deduction costs) on a 1:1 basis across the works reported to us for this event.

You can find more on the U category distribution in our Infosheet.

Important dates and deadlines for you

Declare works in time: 

All works should be registered to GEMA at the latest upon release, preferably using our online work registration service. Please bear in mind that your work must be registered on or before 31 January of the year following its use to be taken into account in the annual royalty pay-out on 1 June.

Submission deadline for usage reports:

For usage reports, there is a submission deadline up to 31 March of the year following the usage.
More info: Registration -

Annual distribution cycle:
1 June:
 Main distribution in the U and UD categories (together with M, E, ED, EM, BM)
1 November: Late adjustment distribution in the U and UD categories (together with M,
E, ED, EM, BM)

Claims deadlines:

For the main distribution, you can submit claims in all live categories up to 9 months after distribution date. In case of late adjustment distributions, you have up to 3 months. To find out how this works and what you need to know, please go to claims.

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