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A big boost in streaming audio revenues helped Germany’s music market grow 2.4% in 2016 despite falling sales of CDs and digital downloads.
According to music industry trade group Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI), music sales in Germany reached €1.58 billion ($1.75 billion) in 2016, marking the fourth consecutive year of growth for the country’s music business. Digital formats’ share of the total rose to 38.0%.
Audio streaming expanded the fastest among all music formats, with revenues from streaming subscriptions up 73.1%. Rising subscription revenues saw streaming’s market share reach 24.3%. By comparison, sales of formerly high-flying digital downloads declined 19.4%, spurring the format’s market share to shrink to 12.3%.
Physical formats also saw changing fortunes. CDs still claimed the largest share of overall music sales, at 53.7%, despite sales decreasing 9.6% from 2015. Meanwhile, sales of vinyl records surged 41.0%, expanding the format’s share to 4.5%.
However, it wasn’t all good news for streaming—or for Germany’s music market in general. Streaming’s growth rate in 2016 was down from a 96.6% jump the prior year. Likewise, last year’s 2.4% growth rate for total industry sales slowed from a 3.9% gain in 2015.
“The growth curve in 2016 might be slightly flatter than in the previous year, but it doesn’t take away from the current overall positive trend within the market,” said Florian Drücke, BVMI’s managing director, in a press release announcing the results. “The streaming business was able to more than offset the decline in physical sales with a significant increase of 73%. Indeed, it was once more that unique mix of digital and analogue that fueled and shaped the German market—and ultimately made for a convincing year in the music business.”
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