Streaming now accounts for 40 percent of all digital revenues in France, according to industry trade group SNEP. In fact, paying subscribers are growing at nearly 19 percent year-over-year.
Suddenly, sales in France are on the uptick, with slower declines and modest gains. Which makes this a recovery exactly like Sweden, right?
(source: Grammofonleverantörernas förening (GLF), Swedish Recording Industry Association)
The answer, unfortunately, is probably not. In fact, this is already looking like one giant false positive driven by traditional physical formats and non-Tail blockbusters. Because even though streaming revenues are gaining in France, a closer look at the data shows that a bulk of first-half 2013 sales actually came from physical CD sales.
Not only that, a bulk of those CD (as well as digital album) sales were largely driven by one group: Daft Punk, whose Random Access Memories sparked huge sales records. And, according to SNEP, drove album sales from other (oftentimes French) artists.
The following diagrams illustrate the far bigger issue. Here’s a look at different format percentage gains in France during the first half of 2013, according to SNEP (abonnement = subscriptions; titres = single downloads; albums are physical+digital):
And, here’s a look at what revenues those formats actually contributed during the first half of 2013, in absolute terms (ie, millions of euros).
All of which also means that:
(a) physical CDs + paid downloads + blockbusters = far bigger revenues overall
(b) streaming = fewer downloads + fewer physical purchases + less piracy
= far lower revenues overall.