white red and blue flag

French body SNEP is the latest music industry organisation to reveal recorded-music figures for the first half of 2023. In France, that meant 9.4% growth year-on-year to €397m from digital and physical music.

Streaming accounted for 77% of the total, continuing its rise in market share from 71% in the first half of 2021 and 75% in the first half of 2022. SNEP reported that French listeners streamed 60bn tracks in the first half of this year, up 17%. 

49bn of those streams came from paying subscribers, with subscriptions accounting for 59% of total revenues. However, SNEP isn’t happy with the growth, calling it “too slow compared to the massive adoption of the paid model in other major historical recorded-music markets”.

Its report also takes a swing at short-video services “like TikTok”, expressing concern that they may be encouraging listeners to “se contente d’extraits de quelques secondes sans aller découvrir et écouter les morceaux dans leur intégralité via des services de streaming payants”.

[‘To be content with clips of a few seconds in length without going on to discover and listen to the full-length songs on paid streaming services’.]

There is clearly a sore point for SNEP and the French industry in the country’s growth. In its Global Music Report earlier this year, the IFPI noted that France had fallen out of the world’s top five recorded-music markets, overtaken by China.

That report noted that France’s revenues grew by 7.7% in 2022. How did that compare to the five countries above it in the rankings? In reverse order: China saw 28.4% growth; Germany 2.2%; the UK 5.4%; Japan 5.4% and the US 4.8%.

Wait, what? France actually grew faster than the four biggest recorded music markets in 2022, not slower, and its growth in subscription streaming revenues (13%) also beat the top four – considerably so in the case of the US (6.4%) and UK (5.1%).

Meanwhile, France’s 9.4% overall growth in the first half of 2023 outstrips both Germany (6.6%) and the US (6.1%). Being overtaken by China may have been a blow to the French industry’s morale, but the comparison to those other historically-large markets – in percentage-growth terms, at least – is not as bad as they fear.

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