German Live Biz Valued At $6.2B: Ticket Prices, Visit Frequency Drive Growth

bdv president Prof. Jens Michow
Klaus Westermann
– bdv president Prof. Jens Michow

According to a study of the German live entertainment market released today, the country’s events industry generated total sales of €4.99 billion ($6.2 billion) between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017.

This marks a 31 percent increase compared to the last results published in 2013, when the market was worth €3.8 billion ($4.7 billion). Germany’s main consumer research association GfK conducted the study on behalf of the country’s promoters association bdv, with support of CTS Eventim, which took on half the costs.

As bdv points out, the German events sector “has thus moves into first position among the revenue drivers in the German entertainment markets – just ahead of the book trade.” The association’s president Prof. Jens Michow, however, advises caution.

“The study shows that despite the significant increase in sales, the total number of tickets sold declined from 120.6 million (2013) to 113.5 million in the period investigated. It also demonstrates that the sales growth is largely due to increased ticket prices and a higher visit frequency, and not increasing visitor numbers. Artists and event organizers must give this some thought.”

Visit frequency refers to the number of visits to events each year, which increased by 8 percent from 3.7 to 4 when comparing the two periods. Bdv emphasizes that the numbers didn’t represent the added value of the German events industry, but only sales.

“These figures should also not obscure the fact that the main beneficiaries of the strong demand for live entertainment are not the organizers, but the artists,” said Michow. “Their continually increasing earnings expectations together with the ever-increasing production costs and rising operational costs are without doubt the main reason for the sales performance from events ticket sales.”

Where the data becomes valuable, according to bdv, is in terms of the overall economic importance of the live events sector. Michow added that, “after analyzing current figures relating to the travel behavior of Germans, almost 16 million music events were attended in the year within the scope of 10 million short trips and holidays with overnight stays.”

People spending money on traveling to and from music events (accommodation, petrol, etc.) generate approximately €5 billion ($6.2 billion) per year, the study finds, adding that since the industry also creates demand for goods and services from other sectors, event organizers indirectly contribute to the creation of more income and employment opportunities.

“Music events are thus a strong location factor, which not only significantly boost the image of states, cities and communities, but also have a direct impact on the region’s growth and its urban development.”

Prior to Eventim, former German trade magazine “Musikmarkt” had taken on half the financing of the study. Since the publication had to fold under economic pressure in 2016, after 57 years of operation, a new partner had to be found. The new GfK study will be made available on bdv’s new website in the coming days.