Study | September 2022

Music streaming in Germany

Revenue situation in the German music streaming market 2022

Music streaming is booming and dominating the music market today. But who actually earns from streaming and how much ultimately gets through to the music creators? A study commissioned by GEMA and carried out by the Goldmedia consulting and research group has now extensively examined this and other questions for the German music streaming market.  The study is based on current market data, interviews with industry experts and an online survey among GEMA members. It offers a hitherto unique fact base for developments and challenges on the German market.

More information is provided in German:
Download the full results (pdf | 5.2 MB | in German)
Digital media centre below on this page (in German)
17 JanuarY 2024

Statement on the resolution of the European Parliament

“The streaming economy must change. This is the signal that the European Parliament is sending out. We must achieve a fair balance which, in particular, significantly improves the situation of authors in the music streaming market.“

Dr. Tobias Holzmüller, GEMA CEO

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Inadequate remuneration for music streaming

From GEMA’s point of view, the study thus shows a grave inadequacy when it comes to distributing the collected revenues: “It is, above all, the music creators who come first at the start of the music value chain and yet it is them who end up last with the least in terms of revenue distribution.” This does not reflect the principles of a social market economy which rewards performance and always strives to reach a fair balance between all market players”, GEMA CEO and Chairman Harald Heker explains. GEMA members who have been interviewed as part of the survey also see an imbalance when it comes to allocating the collected remuneration. 89 percent indicated that they considered the remuneration for music creators from music streaming to be inadequate.

Source: Goldmedia survey on behalf of GEMA 2022, n=4,278, basis: GEMA members

Streaming growth on the back of the music creators

The group of researchers at Goldmedia calculated the net revenue distribution in the case of a standard single subscription in the course of the survey. Such subscriptions are usually offered for EUR 9.99 per month. About two thirds of the users stream via paid subscriptions. The result: About 30 percent of the net turnover for a standard single subscription remain with the streaming services. Approximately 55 percent are paid out for neighbouring rights (music labels and musicians), 15 percent of the net turnover go to the copyright holders (composers, lyricists, music publishers).

Particularly striking: At a total share of 22.4 percent of the net turnover, music creators (authors and musicians) receive a lot less than the streaming services or the labels.

Source: Goldmedia analysis; basis: monthly fees for a standard streaming subscription after VAT; rounding differences are possible


Key Facts

The most important results of the study are collated in ten points. Click on or swipe through the items to read all the key facts.

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1. Trend in the music market

The German music market has been increasingly shaped by streaming since 2012. Today, music is available more easily, can be used more individually and is also cheaper than ever before. 

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2. Streaming as a chance

A large number of the music creator respondents generally view streaming as an 
opportunity to reach a larger audience. 

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3. Streaming services and revenue

Spotify is the most-used music streaming service in Germany, followed by Amazon Music and Apple Music. The average revenue per user (ARPU) is following a downward trend. As such, the monthly Spotify ARPU decreased from EUR 6.84 to EUR 4.29.

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4. Users

Nearly half of the German population (45%, as of 2021) are music streaming users. Of these, about two thirds stream via paid subscriptions, one third use free, ad-financed offers.

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5. Billion-Euro-market

Music streaming is a billion-Euro-market. More than 2 billion Euros are expected to be generated by the involved market players in Germany in 2022. The importance of streaming will continue to grow in Germany. Compared to leading countries such as Sweden, the development is still delayed.

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6. Remuneration 

Despite rising usage figures and the great economic significance, many music creators 
have so far hardly participated in the success of music streaming. 89% of the music creators surveyed as part of this study assess the remuneration from music streaming as inadequate overall. 

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7. Division of revenue

From the net turnover in music streaming in the case of a standard single subscription, 
about 30% remain with the streaming services, 55% are paid out to the neighbouring rights side (labels and musicians), 15% to the copyright side (composers, lyricists and music publishers).

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8. Little money for creatives

Music creators, i.e. musicians and authors together, receive about 22% of the net revenues. The share of music creators is thus significantly below the revenue share of the streaming services (30%) and the labels (42%).

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9. Playlists and recommendations

Playlists and music recommendations based on algorithms have a considerable impact on the reach and the commercial success in the streaming market. However, the underlying criteria are perceived as non-transparent by music creators.

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10. Newcomers and nisches

Current mechanisms of the streaming economy tend to strengthen the position of older, 
commercially successful catalogue titles. Newcomers and musical niches are left with a correspondingly lower share of revenues.

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