Press release / 08 April 2024

Financial year 2023: GEMA stays on success course with record results

The upswing in music events once again contributed to a strong annual result for GEMA, German society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights. Its total income increased by EUR 99 million year-on-year to EUR 1.277 billion, making total funds distributable to its members once again exceed the billion euro mark.

Germany’s music events market has recovered, live concerts are booming and enjoying music is “top of the pops” – as reflected in GEMA’s business figures. For the year 2023, the society for musical rights generated revenues of EUR 1.277bn, exceeding the previous year by 8.4 per cent (2022: EUR 1.178bn). As a result, GEMA pays out EUR 1.082bn to its members and rightsholders worldwide. 

GEMA’s 2023 total income is offset by expenses of EUR 194.2m (2022: EUR 168.6m). Despite a general inflation rate in Germany of 5.9 per cent, the organisation’s expense ratio rose only slightly to 15.2 per cent – from 14.3 per cent in the previous year – and thus remained below the planned ratio of 15.3 per cent.

“This result sends an important message to our now 94,000 members: You can rely on your GEMA. – Dr. Tobias Holzmüller, GEMA CEO

Dr. Tobias Holzmüller, CEO of GEMA, states: “2023 will go down as the most successful financial year in GEMA’s history to date. Despite the tense economic circumstances, we have worked to minimise costs and once again increased distributable funds. This sends an important message to our now 94,000 members: You can rely on your GEMA.”

Dr. Tobias Holzmüller: Fair participation in revenues from AI is more important than ever

The audio streaming trend has fundamentally changed the global music market. With a growth rate of almost ten per cent last year, it is the fastest-growing sector in the music industry generating now its largest share of revenue (BVMI, 2023). Still, GEMA’s approximately 94,000 members hardly benefit from this: Although the market is growing, GEMA’s revenues from music streaming have barely increased year on year. This makes it all the more important ifor GEMA to continue intensive and consistent campaigning for a fair share of the revenues from digital music use in its negotiations with digital music platforms and politicians.

“The global AI music market offers enormous economic potential. The legal framework must be designed in such a way that everyone involved can participate appropriately in the success of this development in the long run.“ – Dr. Tobias Holzmüller, GEMA CEO

The same applies to the current boom in generative AI in music creation. The use of musical works must be protected by copyright and remunerated accordingly: “The global AI music market offers enormous economic potential. AI can inspire creative processes and support music creators in their work. However, it should not be forgotten that the works of the creators form the very basis for this new form of creativity. The legal framework must be designed in such a way that everyone involved can participate appropriately in the success of this development in the long run,” emphasises Dr Tobias Holzmüller.

GEMA’s most important income categories at a glance

Public musical performance: In the event sector, the revenue from communication to the public increased in 2023 by 24 percent to EUR 444m (2022: EUR 357.5m). This significantly exceeded the previous peak level of 2019 (2019: EUR 407.4m). 

Radio and television (programme collections): The income from music use on TV and radio decreased again slightly in the last financial year, by 6.2 percent to EUR 304.8m (2022: EUR 325.1m). This was due to the downturn of the advertising market for private television stations.  

Online: The online sector also showed slight growth in 2023, in particular due to new video-on-demand contracts. Income increased by three per cent to EUR 310.3m (2022: EUR 301.3m). 

Statutory compensation claims: Thanks to higher sales figures for tablets and PCs and the settlement of legal disputes, income of EUR 73.2m (2022: EUR 58.0m) was achieved. This corresponds to growth of 26.2 per cent.

Duplication: Even though there is a revival for records, the loss of importance of physical sound carriers is continuing. At EUR 44.7m in 2023, income from duplication and distribution fell by 18.4 per cent compared to the previous year (2022: EUR 54.8m).

In Germany, GEMA represents the copyright of more than 94,000 members (composers, lyricists and music publishers), and more than two million copyright owners from all over the world. It is one of the largest societies for creators of musical works in the world.

Note to editors

You can arrange interviews by reaching out to the press contacts below. Further information on the economic situation is contained in the 2023 annual report, including the 2023 transparency report, accessible via the link below.


GEMA annual report 2023 (PDF | 10.4 MB)
At a glance: Balance 2023 (PDF | 2.2 MB)
Press photo Dr. Tobias Holzmüller (TIFF | 23 MB | c. Sebastian Linder)

Media centre: GEMA annual report

Ein Portrait von Ursule Goebel, Pressekontakt der GEMA.
Ursula Goebel
Director of Communications
+49 89 48003 426
Porträt von Nadine Remus
Nadine Remus
Head of Corporate Communications
+49 89 48003 583