2006 record year for download providers

In spite of all the croaking by copyright holder associations this year the business with legal downloads has really gotten under way. Whether this be music, talking books, videos, games or software – never before have Germans spent that much money as in 2006 for legal downloads onto their computers. Turnovers amount to more than 120 million Euros which corresponds to a market growth by about 20% as compared to the year 2005, says the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM).

Says BITKOM vice president Mr. Jörg Menno Harms, “Illegal trading posts have finally palled with an ever increasing number of Germans realizing the practical advantages of legal downloads. The quality has improved and the downloads become faster”.

A survey conducted by the GfK market research institute on behalf of BITKOM even revealed that over the first three quarters of 2006 the total number of music files, talking books, videos, games and software programmes downloaded legally onto personal computers in Germany amounted to 21.2 million which is 30% more than in the same period of 2005.

The download market keeps being dominated by music downloads. Currently 86% of downloads are songs. However, as far as turnover is concerned the share of music is significantly smaller amounting to just 37%. In this respect the major role is played by software which accounts for 45% of turnover. Even though software is downloaded less often it costs more than individual songs.

Particularly strong is the growth in the segment of talking books. Having played only a minor role in 2005 turnover in talking books has already reached about five million Euros. “Even though this figure only corresponds to about a share of about 4% of the entire download market, talking books have the potential of becoming a driving force in this business”, said Mr. Harms. Also constantly increasing is the number of newspapers and magazines as well as of learning and counseling products being available as audio files for download. GERMAN