French songwriters' and publishers' collecting society SACEM unveiled figures that show the growth of the country's live music sector.

The live music sector generated €78.5 million ($104.4 million) of SACEM income, which accounted for 10% of SACEM's in 2009. This compares to the 12% of SACEM revenue generated by recordings and video.

The gap between live and recorded music revenue could keep shrinking as "live revenue is progressing faster than the rest of SACEM collections," according to SACEM studies manager Claire Giraudin. In 2003, the live music sector generated around 7% of SACEM collections at €52.4 million ($69.7 million).

Although the number of concerts is on the rise, with around 154,000 taken into account by SACEM in 2009 compared with 119,000 in 2003, the live sector still depends heavily on tours. Tours account for 3% to 4% of the shows in France, but they generate between 30% to 40% of SACEM's collections from the live sector.

French acts' presence in the top 20 tours remains strong: 11 in 2003, and 13 in 2005, 2007 and 2009. Veteran French artist Johnny Hallyday's tour generated the most performance royalties, according to SACEM.

The top 20 tours represented a quarter of royalties collected for all live entertainment.

The study also stresses the rise of musicals and "golden hits" shows such as RFM Party 80 or Âge Tendre & Têtes de Bois.

In 2008, SACEM income from all live entertainment performances - including concerts as well as other events that require licensing for music content - decreased 2.6% to €132.4 million ($176.4 million). But that is expected to increase for 2009 thanks to major tours by Hallyday and U2.