France’s recorded music industry recorded its sixth consecutive year of growth in 2022, according to figures published this week by industry body SNEP.

However, its managing director Alexandre Lasch has told Music Ally of his concerns that France is lagging behind other major markets in terms of premium subscription streaming.

SNEP’s figures showed annual revenues of €920m ($977.7m at current exchange rates) which was a year-on-year increase of 6.4%. Within that, streaming revenues grew by 12.7% to €557m, including an 11.4% uptick in subscription revenues to €425.6m.

Meanwhile, the number of paid subscriptions in France grew from 10m in 2021 to 11m in 2022, although once family and duo accounts are factored in, that means around 16 million users of premium subscriptions. Good news? In an interview for our upcoming France country profile, Lasch outlined his concerns.

“We have only 11 million subscriptions to streaming services in France, and that’s not enough. It means penetration rates of only 18%, compared to 29% in the US, and probably more than that in the UK, not to mention the Scandinavian countries, where subscription is a mature market,” he said.

“This is still not a mature market in France and for that reason, it [the market] should grow faster than that.”

Why is that growth slower than hoped for? Lasch said that older music fans may be the key. “Amongst [music] subscribers, we have 16% of people aged 55 or more, whereas their weight in the total population is 41%,” he said.

“So there is a real gap between the weight of people over 55 and their weight in subscription. We have to make an effort with everyone, whatever their age, but in particular towards people over 55.”

Might SNEP be being a little hard on itself? France’s 6.4% growth in overall recorded music revenues last year compares favourably to 2022’s rate of growth in the US (6.1%), UK (4.7%) and Germany (6.1%) after all.

As for subscriptions specifically, the US saw 7.2% growth in full paid subscriptions revenue last year while the UK saw 4.8% growth – the German figures didn’t separate premium from ad-supported streaming.

11.4% growth for subscriptions revenue in France compares well, then, although bear in mind Lasch’s point about the market being less mature there.

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