French labels' collecting societies SCPP (which includes the four majors) and SPPF unveiled initial figures for 2009, both subject to later fine-tuning.

SCPP income was down 11.3% year-on-year to €61.9 million ($89.6 million), a drop SCPP attributes to an exceptional income in 2008 from TV channels after the settlement of a four-year litigation.

"Without this," said SCPP director general Marc Guez in a press gathering on Tuesday (Jan. 14), "SCPP's income would be flat."

SPPF, which integrated the income of the TV channels settlement in 2009, saw its revenue jump 36% year-on-year at €19.7 million ($28.5 million). However, SPPF also attributes its good performance to an increasing share of its repertoire in the collections from the music video sector compared with SCPP's repertoire.

While SPPF expressed its concern that national TV Channel M6 broadcasted 30% less music last year, both societies shared their satisfaction with the significant rise of the fee paid by public establishments that play recorded music from Feb. 1, 2010, fully applicable in 2013.

This follows a rise of neighboring rights rates paid by privately-held and state-owned French radios stations negotiated in the past years. According to Guez, neighboring rights rates are now above European average, although still a third below those of the Netherlands.

Pascal Nègre, CEO of Universal France and president of SCPP, stressed neighboring rights play a major role in the French music business, as they are expected to generate a global amount of almost €200 million ($289.6 million) for labels' and artists' organizations in 2010. The French recorded music market was valued at around €600 million ($869 million) in 2009 in addition to the neighboring rights income, he added.

SCPP and SPPF now expect a round of negotiations on private copying for 2010. The rates on neighboring rights are set by dedicated commissions which each gather representatives from the sectors concerned.

Neighboring rights are collected by umbrella group SPRE and then distributed to artists and record labels through their respective collecting societies: Spedidam and Adami for the artists, SPPF and SCPP for the record companies.