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A Brief Overview of The French Music Industry (2014-15)

A market report by Nordic Travel Pass (NOMEX)


1. Introduction to the market

Population: 65,3M
GDP per capita: $36,453

France is the world’s fifth largest market in the world for recorded music. After small growth in 2013, the market decreased by 5.3% (to €570M) in 2014. This was solely due to a 11.5% drop in the physical market, which now stands for a market share of 57%. Digital grew by 6% (23.4% market share) and performance rights revenue by 2% (19.6% market share) (SNEP, 2015).

Although the overall value of the French recorded music market has decreased since 2008, digital keeps growing steadily. In 2014, streaming accounted for 55% of online music revenues and downloads for 40% (SNEP, 2015).

Deezer and Spotify are the most popular streaming services, but the French market offers several other options as well, of which many are bundled together with phone operators.

Unemployment and economic uncertainty continue to make an impact on France’s live sector. France operates a statutory minimum fee for public concerts at € 75 profit per. performer.

2. Record Labels, Licensing & Distribution

Although its headquarters are over the Atlantic, France is home to Vivendi, parent company of Universal Music Group – the world’s largest record company.

Physical sales still account for a large share of the recorded market (57%). 74% of all music sold in 2014 on a physical format was sung in French (SNEP, 2015).

With a strong digital infrastructure, online music services are well established and an early tie-in between Deezer and Orange was key in establishing streaming services.

2.1 Major Labels
Universal Music France
Sony Music France
Warner Music France

2.2 Indie Labels

Pop, rock, metal, electronica:
Because Music
Beggars Music France
Green United Music
Warp France
Ed Banger
Record Makers
Cooperative Music France
3ème bureau
Ici d’ailleurs
We are Unique Records
Season of Mist
Ya basta!
Sound Pelligrino
Disque Primeur
Gourmets Recordingz
13bis music

Classical and contemporary:
Harmonia Mundi
L’Empreinte Digitale
Zig-Zag Territoires
Outhere Music France

2.3 Distributors
Here’s a selection of the most relevant distributors:

La Baleine
Believe Digital
The Orchard

2.4 Licensing
Here’s a selection of the most relevant companies focusing on synch:

Alter K
BETC Music
Green United Music
AIM production
Les superviseurs
Universal Music Vision

3. Publishing

3.2 Performance Rights

For composition rights, each Nordic performing rights society has bilateral agreements in place with the French collection society SACEM.

Other rights societies include:


Rights societies for performers include:


4. Management

Below is a selection of influential French managements:

IMG Artists
So Pink!

For an extensive list of managements in France, visit Bureau Export’s websites and get access their professional section.

5. Live

6. Networking Arenas

There are several networking arenas in France, including Midem, which is one of Europes biggest international music conferences.

Printemps de Bourges
Transmusicales de Rennes
Babel Med

7. Media, PR & Promo

The French media landscape is composed of large public broadcasters, regional players, private companies and small idealistic players. With the wide range that this sector represents, it might be an important investment to recruit the services of a french promo agency to assist you in your export initiatives.

7.1 TV
French television is dominated by national broadcaster France Televisions while smaller players such as Arte and Mezzo air more specialist programming.

Canal + – The channel’s only remaining music program, Le Grand Journal, showcases both established and new bands. Link

The program also has a useful website with a lot of editorial content on music here

Arte – This French/German culture channel is an important service for the jazz-, classical- and contemporary segments.

Mezzo – TV channel that only has music in its broadcasting slots. Covering the fields of opera to classical, contemporary, jazz and world music. Often airs extensive productions of live concerts.

Again, the French state, national broadcaster Radio France is the largest provider of radio as for television. Smaller players such as Radio Nova and especially student radio network Radio Campus Network can be important channels for the slightly narrower genres.

7.2 Radio

Pop, rock, metal and electronica:

Radio France is the national French radio station

Le Mouv

France Inter – The channel features live broadcasts from Radio France concert hall, artist interviews and operate with official playlists.

Fun Radio – Commercial channel with a younger audience.

NRJ – Caters to the same segment as Fun Radio.

OUI FM / Virgin Radio – OUI FM is the only radio station that plays metal and hardcore.

Radio Nova – Alternate channel that focuses on indie, electronica and crossover.

Radio Campus Network – Student Radio Network with their own broadcasts in all major French cities.

Jazz radio
TSF Jazz

Classic and contemporary:
France Musique
France Culture
Radio Classique

7.3 Web

Pop, rock, metal and electronica:
Arte Live Web
Read Inrocks
Let Blogothèque
Tsugi Magazine
The Drone
GOUT mes disques
Disco naivete
Chroniques from Paris
But We Have Music
WATM Magazine
Crumb Magazine

Classic and contemporary:
Concert Classic

7.4 Print

Pop, rock, metal and electronica:
Les inrockuptibles
Rock & folk
Tsugi Magazine
Trax Magazine
Hard rock magazine
Rock Hard
Obsküre Mag

Jazz news

Classic and contemporary:

La Lettre du Musicien
La Terrasse

7.5 PR and Promotion

Pop, rock, metal and electronica:
Boogie Drugstore
Phunk Promotion
Melissa Promotion
Clarisse Fieurgant
Canitrot & Co
Le cri de la marmotte
Du bruit au balcon
Gaillard promotion
Impact France
La mission
Ping Pong Promotion
Brengère Rabier
ZAZA media Group

Jazz and world:
Agnès Thomas
Batida and Co
Marc Chonier