Thank You, Streaming? French Recording Sales Up 6.1 Percent In 2013…

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(source: SNEP)


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?


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(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):


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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).


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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.



Any questions?


10 Responses

  1. Visitor


    Thank you, Hadopi!

    And there’s no doubt that the new, improved version will be even more effective (pirates now have to pay).

    • Yves Villeneuve

      Agree. Hadopi was introduced during 2009. Just look at the graph and see how the downward trend completely tapered off beginning in 2010.

      A lot of French citizens then turned to a so-called free Premium Deezer/Orange bundle artificially inflating music subscriptions and revenues because most become inactive users but paid for by Orange telecom investors. Orange telecom users are enticed to freely subscribe to a Premium music subscription to retain their telecom loyalty since playlists aren’t transferable to other music streaming services. 90% become inactive music subscribers, 70% if you believe Deezer.

      This French music industry turnaround over the last few years is fake since music subscriptions and related revenues are artificially inflated as described above.

  2. GGG

    Yes, I have a question. Why is this an attack on streaming? Buying things for $10 is substantially more money than streaming things for free/subscription rate, we all get that. I don’t think even the staunchest pro-streaming person will argue it will make exactly the same levels of money for artists in the near future, if ever. This just seems to be another instance of loosely tying together some data, data that is pretty positive at that, to discredit streaming, and I’m not quite sure why. And look, I’ll gladly eat my hat if one day someone points out direct evidence or cannibalization, as Thom and Nigel could in 5 minutes with one screencap, if it was actually happening. But until then, your argument that streaming took away some of those sales is equally as valid/invalid as me saying streaming caused some people to buy some.

  3. Tune Hunter

    Daft Pank is French so it is local patriotism and euphoria making the sales numbers.

    To get global growth in double digits or at 20+% that we want and need Shazam and other music ID services have to start work for themselves and music industry – not the freeloading public!

    • GGG

      You and Yves with your “patriotism sales” crap….If patriotism sold records why doesn’t every US pop star sell tens of millions? We have a lot more people here than in France.

      • Tune Hunter

        Us and UK are lands of global stars – English helps!

        In Sweden after Abba they had to wait 30+ years to get another global success made by Swedish House of Mafia.

        In 9 times more populolus France they have got it for the first time.

  4. Champion

    Yes, I have one question.

    Why do you end every single post with “Any questions?”

    It’s a dumb, overplayed rhetorical technique.