French Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterrand has announced the launch of CNM, the French National Center for Music, designed to support local French creativity and diversity in terms of record and concert production.
This announcement was largely expected by the music sector, where the end of the recording crisis is considered close. During MIDEM, UPFI and SNEP, France's major label organizations, both expressed their confidence that the recording business should be back to growth within a couple of years, thanks to the strong growth in digital.
The sector is now focusing on enhancing the share of local production in this context. In a press gathering in December in Paris, Pascal Negre, CEO of Universal France, advocated for this need, stating, "since the beginning of the recording crisis, the number of records produced in France has been divided in half, while the number of international records distributed in France has only slightly dropped."
Following the conclusion of a mission led in 2011 by Didier Selles, a member of the French high administrative body Cour des Comptes, the CNM will merge seven existing music entities, both from the live and the recording sectors (FCM, CNV, Irma, French Export office, Francophonie Diffusion, MFA, Observatoire de la musique).
These entities, which individually support French music projects through information, business tools and subsidies, are mainly funded by music collecting societies, ticketing taxes and government funds.
In addition to these resources, the CNM will get a very significant revenue boost from ISPs, through a tax they already pay to the movie industry - a share of this tax, estimated by Selles to be as high as €95 million per year, will now go to the CNM.
"This moment will belong to history, like the 1985 law on authoring and neighboring rights," said Mitterrand in a press conference, referring to the law that installed neighboring rights and private copying in France.
The CNM is based on the existing model of the National Center for Cinema, CNC, launched in 1946, which has shown its ability to support French movie production, compared with other European markets: In 2001, according to French National Assembly, the share of US movies in local markets was 70% in Italy, 83 % in the UK, and 80 % in Germany, whereas local production shares varied from netween 13% and 16%. In France, the local production generated only 33% of the market.
The CNM will officially launch within a year, as it has not yet been adopted by the French Parliament. Prior to that, it will exist as a non-profit organization with a €15 million ($19.7 million) budget funded by the French Ministry of Culture.