Newsletter September 2020

Dear Readers,

Cultural life in Germany is slowly coming back. Clubs and theatres are allowed to reopen under strict conditions, but guests not quite flocking back yet. Filming takes place under the strictest hygiene conditions. Nevertheless: The impact of the pandemic has not been felt as hard in any other industry as in the culture and entertainment sector. The road back to normality is still long and bound by many regulations and political decisions. During these times, remuneration paid by GVL is an important pillar for many rights holders. We are pleased that we were able to distribute a total of more than 67 million Euro at the end of August as part of the 2013-2014 final distribution (performers).

Over the past few months, we have received a wealth of questions on a variety of topics - from distribution deadlines to GVL's business model and our IT. In order to satisfy your need for information, we have created the "GVL in dialogue" on our website. You can access open letters that reached us in the first half of the year and our replies. In a FAQ section, we provide answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact us! This is where we have very recently set up the mail address

You can find out about what else has been important in the GVL world in this newsletter. We hope you enjoy reading this issue.

Your GVL


 Current distributions



Florian Drücke, Guido Evers, Jörg Heidemann

The GVL producers’ side (from left to right): Dr. Florian Drücke (Chairman & CEO of the BVMI), Guido Evers (Managing Director of GVL) and Jörg Heidemann (Managing Director of the VUT) / Photo by GVL

A warm welcome: VUT becomes fourth shareholder

Since July, the VUT - the Association of Independent Music Entrepreneurs - has been the fourth shareholder of the GVL. As a shareholder, the association is going to represent particularly the interests of independent music entrepreneurs. “We are pleased to have gained the VUT as another shareholder by our side, who is going to support its members’ interests with a lot of passion and thus will be giving them a strong voice when it comes to managing their rights” say Guido Evers and Dr. Tilo Gerlach, Managing Directors of GVL. More info here.


 Stefan Wieland

Jörg Heidemann photo by Stefan Wieland

Three questions to Jörg Heidemann (Chairman of the VUT)

1. With a view to the last quarter of the pandemic year 2020: Are you optimistic or pessimistic?

I am rather pessimistic with regard to the entire music industry, which is closely intertwined. Looking only at the recorded sector, I'm cautiously optimistic with worries for next year– when the downstream effects on the payouts will be felt.

2. What new perspectives do you expect from VUT's new role as a shareholder?

That our immense curiosity and the desire to understand complex processes in depth will receive a new impetus. At the moment, we offer our outside view and introduce the issues brought to us by VUT members.

3. What are the priorities of the VUT as a GVL shareholder?

The VUT would like to help GVL to become one of the best collective management organisations/music licensing companies– with an emphasis on transparency, distribution fairness and co-determination.


Titel Transparenzbericht

Information on the 2019 transparency report

Directly after the Assembly of Shareholders and Delegates in June, GVL published its transparency report for 2019. It is available in German and English via our Website. In addition to the new organisational structure, the report also includes important corporate key figures as well as information on cooperation activities by GVL.


 Logo Digital Stage

GVL promotes digital stage for art, music and theatre ensembles

Many ensembles are currently looking for solutions as to how they can rehearse reliably or even perform online. Most of the available video conferencing tools are voice optimised, which means they suppress soft voices. This makes them unsuitable for music and theatre.

GVL has been supporting "The Digital Stage” initiative launched in April 2020: a low-latency audio-video conferencing software for art, music and theatre ensembles. Bands and choirs, for example, can rehearse together online at different locations and perform live on a digital stage in front of an audience on the internet. "The Digital Stage" is available as a web application and in future also as an app.

Artistic associations can join "The Digital Stage" in the future and offer the service to their members free of charge. More information here:


GVL at the Reeperbahn Festival

A year without Reeperbahn Festival? Not possible. It is the industry event. With our workshops for performers and producers, we at GVL have been regulars in St. Pauli. Even if everything is different this year, we attended the event on behalf of our rights holders - digitally and live. More.


Photo by Monique Wuestenhagen

GVL promotes Opus Klassik

The promotion of classical music is of great importance to GVL. After all, we have been entrusted by our rights holders with the largest classical repertoire worldwide for licensing. Accordingly, we are pleased to be able to support Opus Klassik within the framework of our politico-cultural grants.

At the gala event of Opus Klassik, the Verein zur Förderung der Klassischen Musik e.V. [Society for the Promotion of Classical Music] is honouring 47 prizewinners in a total of 25 categories for their extraordinary musical achievements this year. In addition to sound recordings, innovative live formats and compositional work will also be honoured. In the Corona Year, it is a particular concern of the association to place the creators of the works into the foreground. This is one of the reasons why the organisers decided to hold Opus Klassik as a face-to-face event despite all the restrictions imposed by the Covid 19 pandemic. This makes Opus Klassik 2020 the first German music prize on German TV to be awarded in conformity with corona regulations. With a view to all the cancelled concerts this year, this is a small glimmer of hope. The official award ceremony will take place on 18 October 2020 in the Konzerthaus Berlin. The ZDF will broadcast the award ceremony live.

For more information, go to


Logo Initiative Musik

Initiative Musik implements several sub-programmes of “Neustart Kultur”

Good news for creatives: With GVL as its main and founding partner, Initiative Musik is going to implement as many as three sub-programmes as part of the rescue and future programme NEUSTART KULTUR. The central funding agency of the German government and the music industry will be subsidised with additional funds totalling 117 million Euro by Monika Grütters, Minister of State for Culture. NEUSTART KULTUR is intended to support the cultural and creative sectors and make the work of performers and cultural life possible again.

Ina Keßler, Managing Director of the Initiative Musik: “A great deal of stamina and creative power is currently expected from musicians. It is fabulous that the German government is so strongly committed to the music sector with NEUSTART KULTUR. With these sub-programmes, we can support many people and companies in the music sector so that they have a perspective and can plan and implement sustainable music projects.”

Further information here.


Titel Transparenzbericht

Studies on the music business and music use presented in Hamburg

At the “Hamburger Musikdialog” [Hamburg Music Dialogue] on 16 September, two studies were presented that had been commissioned by GVL and others.

The Musikwirtschaftsstudie 2020 [Music Industry Study 2020] makes the size, economic power and significance of the private music industry tangible empirically, especially in corona times. The industry, which has been growing steadily until recently, with an industry-wide increase in turnover of 18 percent to 13.6 billion Euro between 2015 and 2019, is currently in a precarious situation full of uncertainty and revenue losses. This is impressively reflected in the sales expectations of the industry, which have collapsed significantly due to the corona pandemic.

The corona pandemic also has a considerable impact on music use, as the music use study which was also presented at the event, demonstrates: On the music user side, monthly spending on music in almost all formats has slumped sharply - only spending on streaming shows growth of 22 percent compared to the same period last year.

Further information on the Hamburg Music Dialogue can be found here


Photo by Suradech Prapairat on shutterstock/ Insert by GVL

GVL - practical know-how in an online seminar

For years the series "GVL in situ" has been part of our information offer for rights holders. In this series of events, we explain how GVL works and what rights holders must do to receive remuneration for their neighbouring rights managed by GVL In the year of the pandemic, we have continued this series as online seminars with a focus on producers. Two seminars on how to use the new producer portal label.gvl were held in July in German and in August in English. At the beginning of September, we also provided online information about the upcoming final distribution of audio recordings for the year 2016.

By the end of the year, we plan to offer further virtual services for our rights holders, which we will publish on our news page and in our rights holder portals my.gvl and label.gvl.

The next online seminar "GVL for producers" has already been scheduled and will take place on 21 October 2020 at 4pm. The target group are producers who just joined GVL, but also rights holders and other parties that are interseted in obtaining more details and background info on GVL from the perspective of a producer. A live demo of the producer portal label.gvl will be part of the online seminar. We look forward to having you participate! More details and the link for the registration can be accessed here.



Photo by seraficus on iStock

News from the engine room

At GVL, a large number of projects for further automation and digitisation are implemented every year. Only a fraction of this is visible to the outside, however. But it is exactly all of those invisible modifications that enable us to make the portals more user-friendly, to simplify reporting processes and to improve distribution processes. Two examples:

What you can see: Update on our producer portal

Since the relaunch of label.gvl at the end of May, producers have been able to edit rights ownerships themselves at any time via their accounts. For example, the start and end dates of rights ownerships or even rights ownership shares can now be adjusted individually. Conflicts can now be edited directly in the repertoire view and previously unassigned broadcast reports can be claimed. In addition, large quantities of usage claims can be uploaded in Excel format. We have published the innovations for interested rights holders in a Online-Seminar in July.

What's happening in the engine room: Filling an international repertoire database

In order to be able to claim remuneration of its rights holders more efficiently on an international level, GVL has been involved in international cooperation projects for many years. An example is the creation of the Virtual Recording Database (VRDB). The VRDB is a central database for repertoire and participation information of music, film and television productions. Information stored there can be downloaded by the affiliated performer collective management organisations and thus be taken into account in the respective distributions. Centralisation of information will, in the medium term, replace costly bilateral exchange processes. At the same time, a higher data quality can be achieved by standardising data interfaces, from which GVL and international performers will benefit. After GVL has already successfully uploaded music tracks including the corresponding contributions to the VRDB a few months ago, our project team was able to add film and TV productions in July; both important milestones for this international project.


Photo by marco2811 on Adobe Stock

GVL chronicle: 1965 – Rights related to copyright enshrined in the law

55 years ago, a young GVL celebrated its first major success: Rights related to copyright were included in the Copyright Act - an important step for the rights of performers in Germany. GVL played a decisive role in the drafting of the new law. It is thanks to GVL, together with the two shareholders at the time, the DOV and IFPI, that performers and producers of sound recordings had the right to an equitable remuneration for broadcasting and communication to the public of their performances. The path to this milestone was paved in several stages. In addition to various court proceedings and decisions, this includes the founding of GVL in 1959. In this way, the interests of performers and producers of sound recordings can be represented in a bundled manner in order to create a fair set of neighbouring rights/rights related to copyright.

You can read more about the GVL's more than 60-year history here

All GVL events will be on our website from October onwards.