Market for downloads set to grow by another 20%

This is the forecast made by the German Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM). In 2006 the number of songs, audiobooks, videos, games or software packages downloaded was higher than ever before. In total legal downloads in Germany amounted to 31 million while turnover reached 131 million Euros. For this year BITKOM expects turnover to rise to 157 million Euros.

As compared to the year 2005 the market for downloads grew by about one third last year thus significantly exceeding forecasts which had predicted a turnover of 120 million Euros for 2006. According to BITKOM, this fact is also due to more and more people having high-speed internet access which makes downloads easier. At the beginning of 2007, 37% of all households had wide-band internet access, whereas this number was just 12% three years earlier.

Software forms the lion share in the download business. Even though software is downloaded less often than songs, it comes at a higher price. In terms of quantity the market in question is still dominated by music dowloads. Thus, eight in ten downloads (84%) were songs in 2006. In terms of turnover music played a significantly less important role. Just one in three Euros (37%) were earned in this download segment.

Anyway, music downloads hit an all-time record high of 26 million in the past year with turnover rising to 48 million Euros. Thus, the German market grew by one third in comparison to the year 2005. Therefore, BITKOM expects about 33 million songs and albums downloaded in 2007 which would increase turnover to about 60 million Euros. The success of the digital music business is mainly the consequence of the demand on the part of men. Just one in three songs are downloaded by women. The situation is similarly clear with regard to the age structure of customers. About 45 percent of all digital music purchasers are younger than 30. The average is 31 years of age. GERMAN