- 83.2 mio. inhabitants (Status: 31.12.2019)
- Capital: Berlin
- 16 federal states with each their own capital
- Biggest cities:
- Berlin 3.6 mio
- Hamburg 1.8 mio
- Munich 1.4 mio
- Cologne 1.2 mio
- Frankfurt a.M. 0.7 mio
Music Industry Background
Germany was predominantly an import music market after the 2nd World War. A fear of nationalism made it impossible to develop a German pop culture and the allies‘ music was the most important: UK and US stars even released their most famous songs in German versions.
After the German reunification in 1990, German pop culture started to develop, while imported music was still the most consumed.
For the last ten years, domestic pop andrap/hip hop has been on the rise.
In 2019, 80% of TOP 10 albums were German-speaking.
Music Industry Facts
Germany is the third biggest music market in the world (after USA and Japan). Due to its size and fragmented geography, there are a lot of touring possibilities. On the other hand, fragmentation makes it hard to become a „hit“ in all Germany at once. It‘s therefore a time-consuming market to tackle.
Physical vs. digital
Germany is a traditional market in transition. 2018 was the first year in which audio streaming turnover was higher than the turnover made with physical sales. The number is however now growing rapidly.
! Having a physical copy of your album/EP should always be considered: Germans still spend money on physical copies, especially at concerts. Physical promotional copies should also be considered – many radio editors are fond of them. !
Germans consume music via followingmediums:
- Radio (43,5%)
- Premium Audio-Streaming (17,2%)
- Physical (14,5 %)
- YouTube (12,1%)
- Free Audio-Streaming (3,4%)
Radio is still the most important music medium in 2019, but this depends a lot on the target group. Radio is mostly listened to by 35–64-year-olds. 45% of 16-24-year-olds use premium-streaming-services
The willingness to buy music is constant.
Fans in the age group 30–49 are more willing to pay for music. The number of people who do so via a paid streaming service is increasing.
More than 50% of overall industry revenue is due to 40-59-year-olds.
Males are more willing to pay for music (76%) Comment: Males might still be responsible for financials in a household, which might manipulate this number
- Cologne (& Ruhr District)
- B Cities (Frankfurt, Leipzig, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Bremen, etc)
German-speaking media across borders:
- Austrian radio station FM4, German Deutschlandradio, German national print mags are also distributed in GSA and vice versa. But also strong local media that focuses on the news with national relevance
Can you buy media support via marketing?
- Public radio stations: NO
- Private radio stations: MAYBE (example: playing a session for free + getting rotation)
- Print/Online: YES, only 20-30% of features are purely editorial
German Public Media(Radio + TV)
Print is dying! Slowly, but surely – and this process is accelerated by Covid-19. Important music magazines like Spex, Intro, Groove, Juice, etc. have died in the last couple of years. Only a few magazines transitioned to digital successfully.
Print: Music Magazines
- Rolling Stone
- Metal Hammer
- Classic Rock
- Rock Hard
- Schall Magazin
- Deaf Forever
- DJ Magazin
Print: Nationwide Newspapers
& regional newspapers
- Fast Forward
- Backspin (Rap)
- Hiphop.de (Rap)
- Rap.de (Rap)
- DJ Mag
- Missy Magazine
Some important shows with live music guests include:
- Morgenmagazin (Daily morning show on ARD + ZDF)
- Neo Magazin Royal (Comedy show on ZDF)
- Finals of The Voice of Germany (Pro7)
- Inas Nacht (Late-Night-Talkshow on ARD)
- Rockpalast (WDR)
- Late Night Berlin (Comedy/Talkshow on Pro7)
Online formats (are getting more important, especially for the younger audience):
There are three nationwide and nine local public radio stations in Germany, plus approx. 200 private, college, and leftfield radio stations. Listener numbers differ enormously from station to station. The exclusive regional success of bands is common.
Deutschlandfunk (Culture + Info)
Deutschlandfunk Kultur (Culture)
Deutschlandfunk Nova (Youth, Only Web)
Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR)
Hessischer Rundfunk (hr)
Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR)
Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR)
Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb)
Saarländischer Rundfunk (SR)
Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (WDR)
Each of these public radio broadcasters also hosts several subchannels focusing on for example news, youth, culture, Schlager, etc.
PRIVATE (Nationwide + local)
…and many more!
& LEFTFIELD AND COLLEGE RADIOS
It comes to show how Covid-19 will be affecting theGerman live industry in the longterm. Pre-Covid, theGerman live industry was identified as highly competitive. Working with a local booking agent is highly recommended, because – unlike in other places– venues do not book the bands directly. Venues are usually rented by local promoters, who then host the show. Promoters can act as local and nationwide promoters (Example: FKP Scorpio is setting up nationwide tours, but also hosts shows in Hamburg). Big cities would host 800-1000 concerts per year and host Open Air Shows during the summer (Wuhlheide Berlin, Stadtpark Hamburg, Kulturarena Jena, etc.).
Before Covid-19, the market was becoming saturated – the number of tours and concerts increased, while people had the same financial resources and therefore bought fewer tickets to shows. Local promoters became less willing to take risks, which led to worse conditions for the artists.
The festival landscape in Germany is diverse. There are festivals for each genre and audience size imaginable. Pre-Covid-19 that is. Most festivals are owned by booking agencies.
- Parookaville Superstruct
- Wacken Open Air Wacken / ICS Festival Service GmbH
- Rock im Park Live Nation / Marek Lieberberg
- Rock am Ring Live Nation / Marek Lieberberg
- Fusion Fusion
- Lollapalooza Berlin Hörstmann Festivals
- Hurricane FKP Scorpio + MCT
- Southside FKP Scorpio + MCT
- MS Dockville Kopf & Steine
- Deichbrand FKP Scorpio
- Highfield FKP Scorpio
- SPLASH! Hörstmann Festivals
- MELT! Hörstmann Festivals
Showcases + Networking
- Reeperbahn Festival (Pop / Location: Hamburg)
International showcase festival and conference.
- c/o pop (Pop / Location: Cologne)
Showcase festival and conference. Focus on German artists, but international networking.
- jazzahead! (Jazz / Location: Bremen)
International showcase festival and trade fair.
- Most Wanted: Music (Pop / Location: Berlin)
Showcase festival and conference.
- Pop-Kultur Berlin (Pop / Location: Berlin)
Showcase, art, talks.
- JaJaJa Music (Pop / Location: Anywhere)
Concert series for Nordic acts.
Key Companies: Labels
- Warner Music
- Universal Music
- Sony Music
- Edel Label Group (Kontor Records, ear Music, MPS Jazz, etc,)
- City Slang
- Morr Music
- Nettwerk Music
- Hfn Records
- PIAS Germany
- Clouds Hill
- Motor Music
- Other Indies: Sinnbus, Haldern Pop, Tapete, Grand Hotel Van Cleef, Trikont, Staatsakt, Audiolith, ListenRecords, Mansions andMillions Etc.
Key Companies: Distribution
- Warner (+ADA)
- Believe (Rough Trade, Good to go, Groove Attack, Soul Food, etc…)
- The Orchard
- Cargo / Indigo
- Broken Silence
- Kontor New Media
Key Companies: Publishing
- Warner Chappel
- Sony ATV
- Bosworth / Music Sales Group
- BMG RIGHTS
- Budde Music
- Peer Music Classical
- Peer Music
Key Companies: PR
- Verstärker Medienmarketing
- Add on Music
- Nordic By Nature
- Beats International
- Wagmüller PR
- Uta Bretsch Communications
- Mind of Music
- Tom Weber
- FACTORY 92
- Der Promoter
- Pop-up Records
- Off the Record Online PR
- Rattay Music
Key Companies: Promoters/Agents
- FKP Scorpio
- Live Nation
- Karsten Jahnke
- Melt! Booking
- Selective Artist / A.S.S.
- X Why Z
- DEAG / Wizard Promotion
- Bomber der Herzen
- RBK Fusion
Exporting to Germany
- Create a good EPK including your music, press photos, live footage, music videos, and press quotes
- Consider your target group and use data to analyse where you’ll best reach them in Germany
- Build a team in Germany!
- Does your music need to be heard live? Start with a booking agent/promoter
- You have no idea how to release your own music and want to rely on a team with experience and network? Find a label/distribution
- If the label doesn‘t have a PR team in-house, you need to find the right PR company to support you
- Your music is not radio-friendly? A PR company focusing on online, tv, and print will do
- Your music is radio-friendly? Find an additional radio PR company
- Your music is supported by great visuals? Consider investing in social media marketing (instead of radio PR for example)
Produced in collaboration with Factory 92.
All statistics are taken from Musikindustrie in Zahlen (ifpi German Music Industry Report 2019) unless stated otherwise.