We’ve heard lots about the growth of streaming-music subscriptions in Scandinavia in recent weeks, but what about elsewhere in Europe?
France now has 500k people paying for streaming music according to local industry body SNEP, in a late-January report published on Electron Libre. The article claims that streaming now accounts for more than a third of digital music revenues, which SNEP believes makes it the second biggest streaming market in Europe after Sweden.
There’s no Scandi-style turnaround just yet: SNEP’s figures suggest overall music sales declined around 5% in 2012, with digital still just 25% of the total, up from 20% in 2011.
A separate article by Le Figaro published around the same time sees Spotify claiming more than 100k paying subscribers in France, “trois fois moins environ que Deezer” – ‘around three times less than Deezer’.
Hang on though: Deezer has 3m paying subscribers globally, with the bulk of them in its native France. Leaving Spotify’s claims about a rival aside for a moment, how can that square with SNEP’s claim of 500k paying subscribers in the entire market there?
Deezer’s spokesperson tells us that the reported figures “are an indication of direct users only – but don’t take into account the bundled deals”. Electron Libre’s wording is that the 500k counts “les activations du bundle Deezer/Orange” – with ‘activations’ presumably the key word.
The wider issue here, though, is of streaming subscriptions performing pretty well in France – a market that has suffered greatly from piracy.
As a couple of label execs we chatted to at Midem pointed out, these figures are important context for the separate stats published by Hadopi on falling filesharing in France. Hadopi’s stick is part of the reason for that, but Deezer and Spotify’s carrots are seemingly having an impact too.