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Newsletter June 2020

Dear readers,

Many things have come to a standstill in recent weeks, but at the same time we all have turbulent times behind us: In addition to the personal restrictions that all of us were confronted with, creatives in particular were facing massive financial problems. Access to public funding has been and remains difficult for a variety of reasons.

This is what prompted us as GVL very early on to set up help for our performers and labels. We are therefore very pleased that we have been able to help well over 7,000 rightsholders with our corona emergency relief programme since March. At the same time, we have initiated advance payments on future payouts in addition to the planned regular distributions.

This is a very special time for the publication of our first newsletter. We hope that this format will provide you with a compact insight into all the important issues from within GVL in the future. Take a look behind the scenes of GVL in this and future issues. Learn more about projects, backgrounds and get faces to the names. From now on, we will inform you in our newsletter about news from the GVL and the industry once a quarter.

Enjoy reading!

Your GVL

PS: Of course we would love to get your feedback. Please send this to



Laptop mit Infoblatt

Graphic by vladwel on Shutterstock

Launch of the Music Industry Study 2020: Join in!

Together with the most important associations of the music industry, GVL has been updating the study ‘Musikwirtschaft in Deutschland’ [‘Music Industry in Germany’] since 11 May 2020. As in the first study in 2015, the new edition in 2020 will also highlight the overall economic importance of the music industry and at the same time provide a solid database for the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Our request to you: Take part in the survey until 15 June 2020 and enrich the study. Click here for the questionnaire.

The initial study from 2015 can be found here.



Logo Deutsche Musikrat

SOS of the music industry: Save the prospect for a cultural diversity

Together with the German Music Council, the umbrella organisations of the music industry have addressed politicians in an open letter to point out the difficult prospects for the industry in times of corona.
The emergency call to the Federal Chancellor, Federal Minister of Finance, Federal Minister of Economics and State Minister for Culture calls for clear priorities to be set for cultural diversity. At the same time, the signatories call for emergency aid suitable for the industry and an economic stimulus package that ensures the survival of the heterogeneous, historically grown and diversely connected infrastructure.
Further information is available here.



Laptop mit Videokonferenz

Photo by Radek Grzybowski on Unsplash / photomontage GVL

GVL live: First joint digital ‘Stammtisch’ of GVL and BFFS

The first joint virtual get-together of GVL shareholders BFFS and GVL took place on 4 May. The aim of the event was to provide interested actors and dubbing actors with an introduction to GVL and help them to better understand of the distribution system and payouts in 2020. More information here.



Corona Erreger

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

GVL’s corona relief programmes 

The corona pandemic has hit many GVL rightsholders hard with regards to their finances. In order to relieve the burden on producers and performers, GVL has set up aid measures consisting of three components:

  • Immediate emergency relief: GVL will release up to four million Euros under its social grants scheme for this immediate emergency relief programme. This emergency measure, which is mainly aimed at artists in difficulties, is financed equally by performers and producers as an act of solidarity and can still be applied for. More under
  • Advance payments for producers: In March 2020, all eligible producers of sound recordings received a payment on account on the initial distribution for the 2019 usage year, which is not scheduled until September 2020. More information here.
  • Advance payments for performers: In order to create visible financial relief for the performers in need, affected performers will receive an advance on the distributions for the years 2015-2019. The funds will be transferred in May. More information here.

A lot of positive feedback on the corona relief programmes for GVL:

"As a freelance bass player, I have had a few big engagements that have fallen by the wayside for the next three months. Through social media I then heard about GVL's Corona-Hilfe and immediately filed the application. I had the money from the GVL in my account after just over a week - even before their confirmation arrived in my e-mail box. I was all the more pleased about the financial subvention. Great stuff." 
Katharina G., jazz musician

"The corona crisis has hit me particularly hard as a freelance musician. All concerts were cancelled (100% loss of earnings), also the travel to the projects I had booked were not refunded at first. In this emergency situation, GVL did not only act unbureaucratically, but above all quickly: While the federal government and foundations were still fine-tuning their emergency funds, GVL had already transferred a cash injection to my account. With this amount of money I could bridge the period until the end of March. A big thank you to GVL and a wonderful gesture of solidarity of all performers and GVL members!” 
Thomas R., musician

"Words cannot describe how all of this has touched us. Because nothing can be taken for granted. We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to each and every one of the GVL team personally." 
Label representative



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Photo by Grovemade on Unsplash

#westayathome: GVL works completely remotely since mid-March

Within a few days, the GVL had mobilised all its 190 employees to such an extent that they were able to work from home and the company could continue to operate with only a few restrictions for the rightsholders. Just as it is the case for some among yourselves, this comes with a few hurdles and challenges for our colleagues. Not all of them have their own room, but work at the kitchen table, in the children's room and somehow have to include "home schooling" in their everyday life. But all colleagues agree: GVL's distributions must continue without delay and the designated relief programmes for you should and should be squeezed in at short notice. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their commitment.

Having converted to mobile working, we as employers support the call of the federal government and the campaign #westayathome.



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Music industry calls for a quick relief programme

Music culture in Germany, which is important and identity-forming for society, is in a dramatic situation due to the corona pandemic and faces an uncertain future. This has already been made clear in the damage report of the music industry of 25 March, in which corona damage of almost 5.5 billion Euros is expected within 6 months. 

Against this background, the music industry, shoulder to shoulder, has called for an aid programme amounting to 582.17 million Euros. More information here.

GVL's Managing Directors Guido Evers and Dr. Tilo Gerlach add to this:

"Stages are orphaned, musicians and creatives of all genres, whether pop, rock, jazz or classical music, performers and record labels alike have been deprived of their livelihood. The crisis will accompany us for quite some time, and the loss of revenue that we are suffering from now will have a knock-on effect well into next year. That is why we need to work together with politicians to find effective and substantial solutions. This also includes the effective implementation of the European guidelines on the participation in online platform revenues generated by music exploitation."



Detlev Tiemann

Detlev Tiemann,
Photo by Stefan Wieland

Do you know ... Detlev Tiemann?

He has been active as a representative of the choir and ballet members at GVL for 20 years, and since 2017 he has also been Chairman of the Associates’ and Delegates’ Assembly: Detlev Tiemann. In these functions and also as a member of the Distribution and Tariff Committee, he has been standing up for the interests of rightsholders for many years.
"Especially in times of corona, when many GVL rightsholders suffer from the burden of serious financial worries, GVL is a very important constant factor," says Detlev Tiemann about GVL. "Although corona will not leave GVL unscathed in terms of revenue, the upcoming regular distributions will at least provide a small kind of relief for many. I'm glad that GVL exists."


Postponed, but not cancelled outright: Politico-cultural grants in 2020, an exceptional year

More than 50 great projects would have received GVL's politico-cultural promotion and grants in 2020. Due to the effects of the corona pandemic, a large part of these planned projects cannot take place, to your and our regret.

In order to ensure that such initiatives and events, which are now postponed to 2021, will be implemented, GVL hopes to reserve the corresponding funds for the coming year. GVL is going to present this proposal to the Associates’ and Delegates’ Assembly in June, because no grants can be awarded without their approval.

"We don't want to leave the sponsored organisations, which are so committed to cultural diversity and creative young people, out in the rain," emphasizes Dr. Tilo Gerlach, Managing Director of GVL. "That's why we're putting aside the money and hoping to have the projects realised in 2021." 

 You will find an overview of all projects planned for 2020 here.


Planned distributions

GVL plans the following distributions in 2020:

  • Performers: Subsequent distribution 2013-2018 (June 2020)
  • Producers: Video clip distribution (July 2020)
  • Performers: Final distribution 2013/2014 (August 2020)
  • Producers: Initial and subsequent distribution 2016-2019 (September 2020)
  • Performers: Initial and subsequent distribution 2015-2019 (4th quarter of 2020)
  • Producers: Final distribution 2016 (December 2020)



Photo by docstockmedia on Shutterstock

Looking back on 1990: "GVL welcome money"

The corona emergency relief programme is not the first emergency financial aid paid by GVL to rightsholders. Even before this, aid was provided specifically for those entitled to it in a historically exceptional situation: In 1990, the year of reunification, GVL was faced with the task of integrating all performers from the former GDR - a very special challenge, since the GDR did not have any collecting societies. At this time, too, GVL set up an emergency aid scheme, because older artists from the GDR, who were pensioners by then, received only a marginal pension and lived at the poverty line. Back then, GVL decided to pay a contribution of DM 2 million to those who had never received a remuneration for their artistic performance during their active performing time. 

More on this topic and the history of the GVL can be found at



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Initiative Musik: 50th round of performers’ promotion and support programme for musicians

What a great anniversary: In July, the Initiative Music is going to announce the projects of the 50th round of performers’ promotion. Since 2008, this programme alone has already enabled more than 1,700 projects from all over Germany to be subsidised.

And of course, the Initiative Musik will also support musicians during the corona crisis: After a big appeal for donations - with prominent supporters such as Alice Merton, Deichkind or the Moka Efti Orchestra - the new relief programme of the initiative has already accumulated donations amounting to more than 140,000 Euros. The application procedure for the first round is finished. In a first distribution turn, about 120 to 130 bands and solo artists receive help with a grant of up to 1,250 Euros in the first payout round. The appeal for donations continues. "With this aid programme, we aim to provide unbureaucratic help in the current emergency situation. We are delighted with the response and would like to thank the numerous donors most sincerely, because every donation helps," explains Ina Kessler, Managing Director of the Initiative Musik.

GVL has been involved with the Initiative Musik from the very beginning as the main and founding associate and supports the intensive promotion of young talents and venues together with the German Music Council, GEMA and the State Minister for Culture and Media.