By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
In Unit Sales, Cinema and Concert Events Trail BooksIn roughly two months, Germany has seen more than €3.2 million in revenue (US$3.5 million) generated for cultural products, events, and services thanks to the rollout of that market’s new KulturPass for 18-year-olds. And we have it from the cultural minister Claudia Roth’s offices that unit sales of books are resoundingly in the lead in these young adults’ expenditures.
In Publishing Perspectives‘ July 13 report on the “culture vouchers” report from Europe’s Resilience, Innovation, and Sustainability for the Enhancement of Bookselling (RISE), we had seen Germany’s KulturPass activated on June 14, offering €200 (US$219) to 18-year-olds who register on the app.
That rollout has followed the Roth’s pilot project, and has a budget of €100 million (US$109.8 million).
Today (August 9), thanks to information provided to us by Roth’s offices at Germany’s Ministry of State for Culture and the Media, we have independently confirmed a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, published in Munich, indicating that to date, books hold a substantial unit-sale lead in how the young-adult KulturPass holders are spending their allocated funds.
This trend reflects that described by the Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE), in which Italy’s corresponding “18App”—the original “culture voucher” for young citizens in Europe. There, in 2021 specifically, the publishers association reported that 18-year-old Italians were spending 80 percent of their €500 vouchers on books during January and February of that year.
In Germany this summer—and noting that this is a comparatively young culture voucher, just coming up on its second month of operation—the books-first phenomenon is holding, with the number of purchases of books showing a commanding lead in the expenditures young Germans are making with their cultural allotments.
Here are the statistics we’ve been given this morning.
Some 136,000 18-Year-Olds Hold KulturPasses
A spokesman for Roth’s ministry tells us that nationwide, some 136,000 18-year-olds already have activated their €200 vouchers since that June 14 opening of the program.
In terms of voucher activity for the nation’s participating cultural entities, more than 196,000 expenditures have been made on the KulturPass, generating more than €3.2 million in revenue (US$3.5 million) in Germany’s cultural sectors.
This breakdown shows the trend lines discernible so far:
|Cultural Product or Sector||Number of Units Purchased Using KulturPass||Percentage of Total|
|Concerts and Theater||27,417||13.99 Percent|
|Museums and Parks||1,166||0.59 Percent|
|Musical Instruments||757||0.39 Percent|
|Audio Media||361||0.18 Percent|
|Sheet Music||29||0.01 Percent|
In terms of monetary value, a Börsenblatt report based on the Süddeutsche Zeitung article indicates that concert and stage expenditures are in the lead, at something around or above €12 million (US$13.2); books follow with so €11 million (US$12.7 million); and cinema tickets follow in third place with €461,000 or more (US$505,900).
Below is the KulturPass graphic developed by the RISE program, co-funded by the European Union and operated as a three-year program of the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), the intention of which is “upscaling, reinforcing, and maximizing the capacity and resilience of the European bookselling sector.” The graphic offers some background information on the KulturPass itself.
More from Publishing Perspectives on bookselling is here, more on culture vouchers and their development is here, more on the German book industry and market is here, and more on the work of Germany’s ministry of culture is here.