October 4, 2021

The state of TV music usage across France and Germany

 We went deep diving with IPMG into the use of music across TV channels in France and Germany throughout March 2021. We put our findings, b-sides and rarities included, into a public report. 

Both the consumption of audiovisual productions and the international recorded music market have ramped up – the latter seeing more creations and transactions for the 6th year in a row. It’s a no-brainer, even for us on a Monday morning, that the boom in music synchronisation has the TV world to thank, with no less than 4.23 billion worldwide TV enjoyers in 2021.

International Production Music Group were keen to find out exactly how music is being used on TV in 2 key European markets – France and Germany. With pleasure, we took a sample from our global database and identified the type of music that gets the most screen time – comparing production music, commercial music and other types such as commissioned music. While we were at it, we also looked at exactly when, how and for what purpose music is used in-show. 


• Music is used in almost half of the total in-show airing time on German and French TV.

• In Germany production music is used 200% more than commercial music.

• In France production music is used 43% more than commercial music.

• French TV channels broadcast commercial music 2x as much as the German ones.

• The frequency of ads and promos is over 3x higher in France than in Germany.

If this whet your appetite for more, download the full report now. 

Serve your brain what it craves – beautiful snippets of data to memorise and share with your friends and family at the dinner table. We won’t blame you. 

The use of production, commercial and other types of music across French and German TV channels

We looked at 50 high-rating German TV channels including ARD-Das Erste, RTL, SAT. 1, VOX, and more, as well as 7 French TV channels such as Canal +, France 2 and France 3, C8, Arte, M6, and TF1 through Reportal, our music reporting tool for broadcasters

We identified music in almost half of the total in-show airing time on German and French TV

Music takes over almost half of the in-show time in both Germany and France with rates as high as 41% and 48%, respectively.

Production music leads the way over commercial music in Germany and France

Music/Non-Music ratio on TV

In March 2021, the use of production music on TV had rates as high as 45% in Germany and 43% in France. To name names, the channels that used the highest rates of production music in  Germany were SAT.1. (70%), VOX (61%), and RTL (48%). 

In France, the highest percentage of production music aired on C8 (65%), Arte (60%), and TF1 (49%).

French TV channels broadcasted commercial music twice as much as German channels

Channel M6 showed the highest use of commercial music (47%) In France. This can be explained by the fact that M6 airs a generous amount of musical content and reality shows. 

On German TV, RTL 2 used the highest amount of commercial music, with rates as high as 33%. The channel’s main programming pillars are daily episodes of docu-soaps, documentaries, movies and licensed series, similar to French Channel M6.

TV music usage types

The frequency of ads and promos is over 3 times higher in France than in Germany

In March, out of the total airing time on French TV, 10% consisted of ads and promos. In Germany, ads and promos aired 3 times less, adding up to a total of 3%.

Ads & promos / in-show usages

In both countries, a few channels showed substantial gaps in the use of production and commercial music

In Germany, we see large gaps between production and commercial music usage rates. Channel SAT 1 broadcasted the highest percentage of production music (70%). However, commercial music only added up to 14% on the same channel – Channel SAT 1. VOX is also catching up with this trend, as we’re seeing a gap of 38% when comparing production (61%) to commercial (23%) music usage. 

Music usage on German TVs

On French channels C8 and Arte, there were disparities as high as 46% and 42% between production and commercial music usage rates. 

Music usage on French TVs

In a nutshell, production music usage leads the way on TV across France and Germany in March 2021. We hope this report emphasizes the relevancy and value of production music for many libraries, publishers and associations.

“We did this report with the joint intention of quantifying the airtime on TV that production music is played compared to other types such as commercial and commissioned music. In both countries, the numbers show there’s an important difference between these – production music is played almost half of the time that there’s music detected. This shows the relevance of production music in this media, and the important value it adds to the TV productions. We hope this information will help the libraries, publishers and associations in their task of promoting the value of this type of music.”

Luis Ruano, Production Music Service Lead at BMAT

“This landmark survey lends weight to our belief that Production Music is now the dominant form of music in TV broadcast worldwide. Moreover, in both France and Germany, the price for any music used in a TV broadcast is the same. Therefore, the preference for production music comes not from saving money, but because it’s a superior option for TV professionals. Reasons for this include it being excellent quality, especially designed for TV use and the ease of access to it.” 

Dan Graham, Executive Director at IPMG

We encourage you to reuse, host, or share the data from this study with your loved ones and enemies alike. We only kindly ask you to credit bmat.com or this article.

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