French Music Sales Slow in 2011, Digital Continues Growth
French Music Sales Slow in 2011, Digital Continues Growth

The French recorded music market went down -5.6% in trade value for the first nine months of 2011 to €321.3 million, labels body SNEP (Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique) revealed in a late November press conference in Paris.

The physical market went down -12.2% in value to €242.2 million, in comparison to the first nine months of 2010, a loss that was partly compensated by a 22.7% raise in sales of digital music to €79.1 million. The digital market now represents 24.6% of the French recorded music market, against 18.9% at the same time last year.

Internet downloads were up 16.3% to €40.4 million, while ad-funded streaming revenue went up 45.7% to €9.8 million. Like last year, the most impressive growth came from subscription based music services, which went up 87.9%, primarily due to France's leading ISP and mobile carrier Orange bundling Deezer music subscriptions into its service.

SNEP President and Believe Digital CEO Denis Ladegaillerie stresses that Deezer was also seeing a strong growth on its standalone subscription. The surge on subscription sales should go on, SNEP VP and EMI France CEO Olivier de Montfort added, with Orange competitor SFR recently bundling Spotify music subscription service into its service.

SNEP expressed their satisfaction with the growth of the digital market, with some cautious hopes that the recorded music market might go back to growth within a couple of years, although the global economic crisis was complicating any kind of projection. However, SNEP expressed some worries about the wealth of local production; Ladegaillerie explained that the share of local sales in the digital market was of around 40%, against 60% in the physical sales. SNEP is calling for the government to keep supporting the production on local talents to help overcome the disparity.