Music Industry

Berlin has established itself as the no. 1 music city within the German music industry: no more people live off music in any other city than the capital.

All they want to do is play - The Berlin Music Business

Berlin is a city of music: There is no other place in Germany where so many musicians from all over the world create, play and sell music. No style of music that is not represented her from electric music via Rock and Pop right up to world music, from HipHop to Jazz. The music scene in Berlin is diverse, lively and at the same time internationally successful.

During the past few years, Berlin has even established itself as the capital of music in Germany due to many large companies having settled here, a creative middle class music scene, a multi-facetted club culture, hundreds of performances and concert each day of the week, 365 days a year and events with international flair.    

All Berlin wants to do is play - the Trailer "MusicTech in Berlin"

Berlin’s music business in figures


Berlin has become a melting pot for international musicians and professional studios turning the city into an ideal location for productions.

  • More than 500 enterprises from all areas of the music production and - utilisation offer their services.
  • In addition to the labels in Berlin there are 159 music publishers, mainly for entertainment music.
  • There are more than 126 recording studios and several composers as well as 77 concert organisers in Berlin. Apart from Universal Music and BMG Rights Management many small labels, publishers and distributors have settled in the city.
  • Berlin is home to altogether about 1450 enterprises from the music business.

 What associations and networks are part of the Berlin music industry?   

Within the scope of the music business initiative of the Senate Administration for Economy, Energy and Business, enterprises are supported since 2002 with - amongst others - infrastructural projects, international congresses and events, further training measures, extending the promotion for music - e.g. micro loans and coaching offers - as well as studies and analyses.

Upon request from the Senate Administration for Economy, Energy and Business, the networks Berlin Music Commission and Clubcommission Berlin have worked on new innovative projects and measures for sustainably developing the location of the Berlin music business since 2015.

This includes the following conferences and events:

  • The Hybrid Music Lab connects and links the music-  and tech scene
  • Stadt nach Acht (City after Eight) is a platform to discuss an attractive and sustainable night life on an international level with all its conflicts and advantages for a major city such as Berlin  
  • Most Wanted Music: The music’s target is to promote practical know-how, link players with each other and encourage them to promote an exchange as well as to develop new solution models for the industry.   
  • CreAid Network: CreAid Network Berlin is an interface between refugee musicians and the Berlin music business. The CreAid Network Berlin office records and bundles the numerous campaigns and supporting measures of Berlin’s music industry for refugees.  
  • Measures for professionalism
  • Internationalisation Programme Cockpit 

Beginning of 2013 the Berlin Senate established the Musicboard. It is the task of the Musicboard to support the pop music scene in town and to strengthen its cultural and economic prominence. Therefore the Musicboard works closely together with Berlin’s music enterprises and promotes cooperation projects or makes these available, grants scholarships, intervenes in case of problems and improves the infrastructure. All this in addition to an improved cooperation with the music industry and a close cooperation with the Berlin pop music scene, the Berlin music networks, administration and economy. The Musicboard is a unique setup across the country and its intention is to promote pop music in a new and ingenious way and to keep the discourse with the pop culture alive in Berlin. Since 2015 the Musicboard has staged the international Festival Pop-Kultur annually in August.

Which are the music enterprises in Berlin? 

Eleven per cent of music enterprises in Germany are located in Berlin.  This includes enterprises with a high turnover in this industry:  

  • Universal Music (market leader)
  • BMG Rights Management established in 2009
  • Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG)

Apart from publishers such as Budde Musikverlag and Meisel, there are more than 126 recording studios and countless composers and producers living in the city. The Berlin labels of national and international fame include Motor Music, Piranha, Embassy of Music, K7, Get Physical, Traumton and many more. Berlin is considered to be the city of electronic sound.

How is the music business promoted in Berlin? 

Renowned conservatories and universities such as the ‘Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“‘ and the Universität der Künste are part of the capital as are umbrella organisations, such as the Bundesverband Musikindustrie, GEMA, GVL and GVU, and important networks such as the VUT, Club Commission Berlin, the Label Commission and the Berlin Music Commission.

Which music events take place in Berlin?

The image of the capital of music is shaped by many independent music labels, about 159 music publishers, internationally renowned orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker as well as the club landscape and festivals:  

  • Lollapalooza
  • Club Transmediale
  • Musikfest
  • JazzFest
  • MaerzMusik
  • Classic Open Air
  • young.euro.classic
  • popdeurope
  • Karneval der Kulturen
  • Fête de la Musique
  • etc. 

With its more than 250 event locations and more than 77 concert organisers, Berlin is the city with the most lively concert- and event life in Germany with special musical highlights in the areas of classical music but also in respect of electronic music, HipHop, and Jazz. Berlin has the most diverse offer of concerts in Germany and a multifaceted club culture.

Berlin as trendsetter within the music business  

For the music industry, the city is not only interesting as a location due to its high sales figures and a pool of qualified workers. The physical proximity to clubs and music events enables music enterprises to pick up trends almost at once. Having contact to the scene makes it easier to discover and market new artists. ‘Face to Face‘ contacts still play an elementary role in the music industry despite the internet.  Tacit knowledge enables access to the scenes via codes, which in turn stand for authenticity and ‘street credibility‘.  

Last but not least Berlin’s music industry is characterised by a distinct linking of value-added stages, also linking with other creative sections as well as a strong international orientation. 

 

 

Nadja Clarus
Nadja Clarus

Music Industry

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Berlin wants to play - Trailer "MusicTech in Berlin"

Berlin's music industry in numbers

Berlin has become a reservoir for international musicians; professional recording studios are turning the city into an ideal production location. 

  • More than 500 companies from all areas within the music production and are offering their services.
  • In addition to the labels in Berlin, 159 music publishers, mainly for u-music add to the cities scene.
  • More than 126 recording studios and various composers, plus more than 77 concert organisers are based in Berlin. Besides Universal Music and BMG Rights Management, there are many smaller labels, publishers, and distributors.
  • Altogether Berlin counts around 1.450 businesses in the music industry.

What and networks are based in Berlin?

As part of the music industry initiative by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, companies are being supporting through international congresses and events, training measures, infrastructure plans, and the development of the funding – e. g. micro loans and coaching services – plus studies and analyses since 2002.

Since 2015, the networks Berlin Music Commission and Clubcommission Berlin commissioned by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises develop new innovative projects and plans of action for a sustainable location development of Berlin music industry.  

The following conferences and events are part of the mentioned measures:

  • The Hybrid Music Lab connects the music and tech scene
  • Stadt nach Acht is a platform to discuss an attractive and sustainable night life on an international level, including all the conflicts and advantages for a large city such as Berlin.
  • Most Wanted Music: Music has the goal to support practical know-how, connect different parties and inspire them to discuss and exchange views, plus developing new solution models.
  • CreAid Network: CreAid Network Berlin is a meeting point between resorted musicians and musicians that are part of Berlins music industry.
  • The CreAid Network Berlin-Büro collects and combines various campaigns and help measures of the music industry Berlin for refugees.
  • Professionalising measures
  • Internationalising programme cockpit

In the beginning of 2013, Berlin’s senate implemented Musicboard. The task of Musicboard is, to support the pop music scene of the city and strengthen its economical radiance. Additionally, Musicboard works closely with music businesses to pair or support co-operation programmes, awards scholarships, conveys problematic cases, and improves the infra structure. Added value is also the improved co-operation between the music industry and Berlin’s pop scene, Berlin’s music networks, administration and economy. Musicboard is nationally a unique establishment and want to fund pop music in a new and creative way to keep the culture Berlin’s alive. Since 2015, Musicboard organises the international festival Pop-Kultur every August.

What music businesses are in Berlin?

11 percent of the music businesses in Germany have their headquarters located in Berlin. The most lucrative companies in the industry are:

  • Universal Music (industry leader)
  • 2009 founded BMG Rights Management
  • Deutsche Entertainment AG (DEAG)

Besides publishers such as Budde Musikverlag and Meisel, more than 126 sound studios and various composers, and producers resident in the city. Berlin labels with national and international status are Motor Music, Piranha, Embassy of Music, K7, Get Physical, Traumton and many more. Berlin accounts as the music city of the electronic sound. 

How is Berlin’s music industry being supported?

Established universities and music schools, such as Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“ Berlin and Berlin Univserity of the Arts are located in the capital, as well as first-class associations such as Bundesverband Musikindustrie, GEMA, GVL and newly founded GVU, plus important networks such as VUT, Club Commission Berlin, Label Commisson, and Berlin Music Commission. 

What music events take place in Berlin?

The image of the music capital is shaped by various independent music labels, around 159 music publishers, international leading orchestras such as Berliner Philharmoniker, plus the clubbing landscape and festivals:

  • Lollapalooza
  • Club Transmediale
  • Musikfest
  • JazzFest
  • MaerzMusik
  • Classic Open Air
  • young.euro.classic
  • popdeurope
  • Karneval der Kulturen
  • Fête de la Musique
  • etc. 

Berlin has the richest concert and event life with more than 250 event locations and more than 77 concert organisers, with distinct focus on the areas classical music, but also electronic music, Hip-Hop and Jazz. Berlin has the most diverse concert life within Germany and club culture.

Berlin as a trendsetter for the music industry

The city isn’t solely because of the sales figures and the pool of highly qualified workers an interesting location. The industry’s proximity to clubs and music events allow businesses to discover trends as soon as possible. The close contact to the scene also enables agents to discover and market artists at an early stage. “Face to Face”-contacts to the scene hold an important role, despite the growing role of the internet. Personal knowledge or tactic knowledge allow entrance to the scene via codes, which stands for authenticity and street credibility.

Last but not least, Berlin’s music industry is characterized by the distinct connection of value chains, the connections with other creative industries, plus the strong international orientation.