German collecting society GEMA has published its numbers for 2019, reporting revenues of just under €1.07bn ($1.18bn), which was 4.9% more than 2018. Of that total, €905.6m was distributed to members and rightsholders, representing 5.4% growth.
“Against the background of current developments, GEMA’s very good 2019 financial year will form a ‘crisis airbag’ for our members,” said GEMA CEO, Dr Harald Heker, referring to the society’s 1 April and 1 June distributions. Note, this may also mean there is trouble ahead: GEMA’s revenue from public performances in 2019 grew by 4.9% to €407.4m “mainly due to a robust concert year” – a description that certainly won’t be applied to 2020. However, GEMA did report strong growth in its online collections, which grew by 72.4% to €181.9m.
Another noteworthy stat: in its results, GEMA said that it now represents 78,000 members, which is up from 74,000 a year ago – a 5.4% increase. How does its collections growth of 4.9% compare to some other large collecting societies? PRS for Music in the UK saw its collections grow by 8.7% last year, and ASCAP in the US’s grew by 3.8%.