Asset Publisher

09. April 2015

Fiscal year 2014: GEMA in best form

GEMA achieved sustained growth for the fiscal year of 2014. The German collecting society generated a total income of €893.6 million for copyright owners all over the world. This represents a significant increase of around 4.8 percent, or €41.2 million, on the previous year.
GEMA increased its earnings in almost all business areas. Substantial contributions to the very healthy total income of €893.6 million were made by the following three licensing areas: public performance of music (€340.6 million); television and radio (€287.3 million); and online (€44.8 million). This means that last year was a successful one for GEMA’s approximately 69,000 members, who directly benefited from the higher income through increased royalty payments.

Despite the difficult and intensely competitive market conditions, the cost rate, including all strategic investments, was cut by 0.5 to 15.4 percent (2013: 15.9 percent), while the cost rate for business operations was reduced to 14.1 percent (2013: 14.9 percent).

The income of the regional offices, which are responsible for the public performance of music, also experienced an encouraging rise. Positive market developments, in particular in public performances and concerts, resulted in an income of €340.6 million.

The income segment television and radio is another main pillar for GEMA: in 2014, licensing revenues of €287.3 million were almost on a par with the high level of the previous year.

The fact that music is increasingly being made available digitally was also reflected in the financial figures for last year. GEMA recorded sizable gains in the area of online usage, with income amounting to €44.8 million. This was partly generated by new contracts signed with internationally renowned online music services. The encouraging revenue developments in this area are, however, still a long way from matching usage volume or the income GEMA would hope to generate for copyright owners. The payment models still fail to ensure payment adequately reaches the copyright owners. GEMA’s objective is to fight for a fair share of the constantly rising online revenues for its members and to ensure that they receive proportionately higher payments.

In private copying, GEMA recorded positive cumulative earnings for the fiscal years 2011 to 2013 inclusive (€32.5 million). The  Organization for Private Copying Remunerations (ZPÜ), a merger of nine German collecting societies, has the task of  collecting private copying remunerations from manufacturers of devices and of blank media (as per Section 54 ff. of the Copyright Act) and distributing the income to its members societies.

GEMA also assumes the administration for other collecting societies, including GVL, VG Musikedition and VG Wort. In 2014, GEMA generated income amounting to €163.2 million for the members of those societies (2013: €162.1 million).

An overview of GEMA’s most important sources of revenue

Recorded media
GEMA performed steadily in the field of recorded media in the 2014 fiscal year. Despite further falls in the sales of recorded media, GEMA was able to generate an income of €109.0 million (2013: €110.4 million, 2012: €117.0 million, 2011: €126.6 million, 2010: €161.5 million, 2009: €164.5 million). This continues the trend of a steady regression in the sales of recorded media. In comparison to other European countries, German consumers have a greater willingness to purchase traditional recorded media. Physical recordings still amounted to 75 percent of market sales, a decrease of just approx. one percent on the previous year.

The strong trend towards online usage is continuing. GEMA can point to positive developments in its online business in 2014: thanks to the new contracts it signed with internationally prominent online music services, as well as an increasing number of usage reports, GEMA increased its revenue in this field by €18.4 million to a total €44.8 million (2013: €26.4 million, 2012: €16.9 million, 2011: €21.2 million, 2010: €13.3 million, 2009: €10.6 million). This is the area where income received and usage volumes are especially disproportionate for copyright holders.

Radio and television
Music usage in television and radio represents another steady source of revenue. Almost 100 percent of media broadcast by television and radio stations licensed in Germany comes from GEMA’s repertoire. Total earnings of €287.3 million (including cable retransmission) point to a positive yield in this area for 2014 (2013: €292.2 million, 2012: €260.8 million, 2011: €257.4 million, 2010: €257.1 million, 2009: €283.0 million).

Regional offices
Concerts and events with music  enjoy a high standing in Germany. The positive economic developments in the events sector are reflected in the financial performance of regional offices. Earnings rose to a total €340.6 million, representing an increase on the previous year of €14.0 million, or 5.3 percent. This maintains the regional offices’ position as a strong financial performer for GEMA (2013: €326.6 million, 2012: €323.4 million, 2011: €312.0 million, 2010: €299.1 million, 2009: €294.6 million). Further information on the fiscal year 2014 can be found at In Germany GEMA represents the copyrights of more than 69,000 members (composers, writers and music publishers), as well as over two million copyright holders all over the world. It is one of the largest societies for authors of works of music worldwide.

For further information:
Ursula Goebel, Communications Director
E-mail:, Tel.: +49 (0)89 48003-426