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Germany’s music fans have accelerated their transition to digital listening methods in 2017, with fast-rising streaming revenues helping to push compact discs’ share of the industry’s sales below 50% during the first half of 2017, according to new figures from music industry trade group Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI).
Streaming services were responsible for nearly 35% of the country’s €740 million in total music industry revenues in the first six months of the year, up more than 10 percentage points from the 24.3% share recorded by BVMI in 2016.
Streaming’s gain pushed digital’s overall share of the market’s H1 2017 revenues to 47.5%, according to figures released this week. At the end of 2016, digital’s share of total revenues was 38.0%.
CD sales suffered the most from listeners’ evolving music access methods. The format’s share of total sales fell to 44.7% for the period, down from 53.7% in 2016.
Paid downloads were also depressed in the face of increased streaming revenues, with the segment’s share of overall music sales down to 10.9% in H1 2017, vs. 12.3% in 2016.
Nonetheless, overall recorded music sales, including both digital and physical formats, were up 2.9% for the period.
“In the first half of 2017, we in Germany saw the gradual emergence of a balance between physical and digital business,” said Florian Drücke, BVMI’s managing director. “The industry’s strategy of being active on all possible distribution channels is being well-received by music fans; they consume music based on their own individual preferences by choosing from on a wide range of possibilities from vinyl to the cloud,” he added.
Spotify has blossomed into one of the options music listeners turn to in Germany. According to a study by WIK (Wissenschaftliches Institut für Infrastruktur und Kommunikationsdienste GmbH) and Fresenius University of Applied Sciences based on polling by YouGov, the percentage of adult internet users in Germany who used Spotify increased among every age category except the 55-or-older cohort between December 2015 and December 2016.
The increase in Spotify use among respondents ages 25 to 35 was especially robust, more than doubling in a year to 30% in December 2016. But younger millennials ages 18 to 24 remained the most likely to listen to music via the service, with 46% saying they do so.
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