Despite the challenging situation in society and the economy as a whole, music collecting society GEMA achieved its best result ever in 2022. Its total revenues for the financial year were EUR 1.178 billion (a more than 13 per cent increase on 2021's EUR 1.039 billion). For the first time in GEMA's history the distribution sum will exceed the billion-euro-mark.
The lifting of pandemic-related restrictions from the second quarter led to a significant revival of cultural life and a significant increase in revenues from public musical performance. In addition, growth in the online sector continued, especially in music and film streaming. Overall total revenues thus far exceed pre-Corona levels. As a result, the music collecting society will be able to distribute EUR 1.009 billion – more than ever before – to its members and rights owners around the world.
Dr Harald Heker, Chief Executive Officer of GEMA, says: "Our members can expect a very pleasing level of distribution in 2023. Including our collection mandates, the distribution total will exceed one billion euros for the first time. This is a record result. The resurgence of events and music performances means a relief for our members after three hard years. Authors, like almost the entire music and culture industry, have had to make great sacrifices in recent years and now truly deserve this success."
Total income is offset by expenses of EUR 168.6 million (EUR 152.4 million in 2021). The expense ratio including all costs was 14.3 per cent (2021: 14.7 per cent) and was below the planned level of 15.6 per cent despite the general inflation rate of 7.9 per cent. This is testimony to disciplined budgetary management.
„The resurgence of events and music performances means a relief for our members after three hard years.“ – Dr Harald Heker, GEMA CEO
Dr Harald Heker: Copyright must be consistently defended
Besides the revival of the event sector, online revenues also developed dynamically upwards. This was due in part to general market development and re-licensing of old periods, but also in particular to successful contract negotiations for music streaming. Audio streaming continues to be the fastest growing music industry segment. However, authors are still harmed by considerable imbalances in the distribution of revenues, as shown by a study on the German music streaming market from Goldmedia consulting and research, published in September 2022. GEMA has increasingly put this imbalance on its cultural policy agenda. "The trend towards streaming must not lead to authors’ rights being undermined. GEMA's most important task is and remains to stand up for fair remuneration in all areas and thus at the same time to secure conditions for a lively and diverse musical and cultural landscape", Heker continues.
GEMA's most important revenue areas at a glance
Public musical performance: Despite pandemic-related restrictions in the first quarter, revenues from public musical performance grew to EUR 357.5 million in 2022 (an increase of 43.7 per cent on 2021's EUR 248.8 million). This was mainly due to the events market's summer recovery. However, 2019, the last year before the pandemic, still had higher revenues of EUR 407.4 million.
Radio and television (programme collection): Income from music usage in radio and television dropped slightly to EUR 325.1 million (down 3.9 per cent from 2021's EUR 338.3 million). The main reason for the decline was because of compensating effects after the previous year's strong increase, which was due to special effects from the past. Adjusted for accounting effects, the revenue level increased significantly, mainly thanks to agreements with public and private broadcasters on new broadcasting contracts.
Online: Successful contract conclusions, re-licensing for old periods and general market development again ensured strong growth in online debt collection. Revenues rose to EUR 301.3 million (an increase of 26.5 per cent on 2021's EUR 238.1 million).
Statutory compensation claims: Here the strong previous year was characterised by revenue inflows resulting from pandemic-related high sales figures of tablets and PCs. This effect did not materialize in 2022, resulting in declining revenue: EUR 58.0 million, down 27.7 per cent from 2021 EUR 80.2 million.
Duplication: In 2022 the market for physical products continued a downward trend that had been interrupted in the previous year. Revenues decreased by 9.2 per cent to EUR 54.8 million from 2021's EUR 60.3 million.
Note to editors: Interviews can be arranged via the press contacts below. Further information on the economic situation can be found in the Annual Report 2022 including the Transparency Report 2022, available at: www.gema.de/geschaeftsbericht
In German: full annual report 2022 (pdf)
An English version of the full report will be available in May.
Press photo Dr Harald Heker (c. Sebastian Linder)
At a glance: GEMA balance 2022 (pdf)
Sharepics: Facts and figures (zip)
Interviews can be arranged via the press contacts below.
In Germany, GEMA represents the copyrights of almost 90,000 members (composers, lyricists, music publishers) and over two million rights owners from around the globe. It is one of the world's largest authors' societies for musical works.