2021 music industry numbers

In March 2022, the latest sales figures for the music industry in Germany in 2021 were published. Find out how the music market has developed over the past year and what this means for artists and labels.

A few facts
Music industry revenues in Germany continued to grow in 2021, with an increase of 10 percent compared to 2020. Recorded music sales and streaming revenues generated a total of 1.96 billion euros. 76% of revenues came from digital music consumption.

Digital music sales
Audio streaming continues to gain ground, leading the way with growth of 18% compared to the previous year. Music streaming has increased its share of the overall market to 68% in year-on-year terms. Together with the download of tracks, bundles and music videos, as well as with the streaming of other things such as realtones / ringback tones, video streaming and other license revenues this makes a digital revenue of 76%. This means that more than three quarters of the music business in Germany is digital and took by far the biggest portion of revenue in the last year.

Physical music sales
The CD remains in second place with a sales share of 16.3 percent, a decrease of 16% from the previous year. Vinyl is in third place. Thanks to a 20.1 percent increase in sales, vinyl records have a respectable overall market share of 6 percent in the era of music streaming. Not least for this reason, the physical market's share of sales remains fairly stable at 23% even though it declined by 9%.

The music business has recorded significant growth for three years in a row. The strong and stable growth underscores the strong use of music content. The statistics also show that there is still a lot of potential in the music market. Especially considering the burdens of the pandemic, this balance for 2021 is very good news for all artists and for the entire music industry. Even if live performances did not take place (and the associated revenues are lost), the crisis clearly shows how important and useful music is for all of us.
As we mentioned earlier, digital music makes up the biggest part of the music business. Music streaming continues to boom and is becoming more and more the sole main player in the music industry. Last year, 165 billion streams were measured in Germany - almost a fifth more than in 2020 (138 billion). Moreover, it's available anytime, anywhere. Fans can compile their own personal soundtrack from an endless repertoire, and can change it again and again depending on their activity and mood. More and more people are becoming fascinated by these possibilities. Streaming is by far the market segment with the highest sales.

So if you’re still late to the party, then these numbers unmistakably show you why it makes sense as an artist and label to focus on the streaming platforms and trying to build up your profiles and your appearance. Over time, many streaming platforms have emerged while Spotify and Apple Music clearly take the most important roles in the music streaming world.