France’s Recording Industry Clocks Seven Straight Years of Growth — So Why Are French Labels Sounding Alarms?

France's recording industry
  • Save

France's recording industry
  • Save
Photo Credit: Chris Karidis

French industry body SNEP (National Syndicate of Phonographic Publishing) reports the French recorded music market is growing—up 6.2% compared to 2022.

Physical media is still huge in France, representing almost a quarter of sales with only a (-1%) loss. SNEP reports an increase of 8.8% for digital operations in that increase. Neighboring rights and sync revenues are down slightly—but SNEP reports that the French recorded music revenues have reached just 53% of the historic level of 2002.

SNEP says digital growth is lagging behind in France, which is why it is opposing the streaming tax hike in France. Calling the dynamic generally positive, SNEP says the 10% increase in subscription streaming revenues remains too weak to fully fuel the development of the market—despite being the primary source of value creation.

There are 12 million paid music subscriptions in France for a penetration rate of 16% for paid subscriptions—one of the lowest in Top 10 music markets. SNEP says the growth in revenue from subscriptions is slowing down in France, while the market itself has not reached maturity.

“For French producers and their platform partners, the previously encouraging margins of progress are now becoming challenges to be taken up without further delay, both among young consumers and seniors,” reports SNEP. “The development of paid streaming is a major challenge in an inflationary context; subscriptions to music services are in direct competition with cinema, audiovisual, and sport offers.”

SNEP also lists TikTok and other short-form video formats as a potential hazard to growing the recorded music market in France. “Short videos initially created a new source of visibility and discovery for new releases, [but] now capture and divert the attention of fans from audio streaming services—which are by far the main source of income for artists and producers.”

France is currently the sixth largest recorded music market in the world with 968 M€ revenue from recorded music in 2023. The upcoming French streaming tax of 1.75% on music streaming apps was proposed to fund investment in the Centre National de la Musique. But Spotify has stated that due to the tax, France will no longer be a priority for Spotify.