In opposition to a contentious new levy aimed at music-streaming services operating in France, Spotify has withdrawn its sponsorship for two music festivals and promised to take more action in the next few months.
The Center National de la Musique (CNM), founded in 2020 to support the French music industry, will receive the proceeds of a new tax that will impose a levy of what is expected to be between 1.5 and 1.75% on all music-streaming services. The managing director of Spotify in the France and Benelux regions, Antoine Monin, took to X this week to criticize the proposed legislation.
Spotify has been the most vocal among the leading music-streaming companies that have united against the new regulation. These companies include Apple, Google’s YouTube, local player Deezer, and others. Following the news last week, Spotify declared that the action was a “real blow to innovation” and that it was considering its options.
With the announcement that it will stop sponsoring the Francofolies de la Rochelle and the Printemps de Bourges festivals, which it has been supporting financially and with other on-the-ground resources, starting in 2024, the business has now provided the first hint as to what such actions will entail. “More announcements will follow in 2024,” Monin continued, without going into any detail on those steps.
Recall that Spotify and the Uruguayan government recently got into a heated argument over a new law that calls for “fair and equitable” compensation for all musicians participating in a recording. According to Spotify, the regulation would force it to pay rightsholders twice for the same songs, forcing it to stop doing business nationwide. Later, once the government promised that music-streaming platforms wouldn’t be held responsible for any additional expenses brought on by the law, the corporation made a complete about-face.
France is unique because it is probably a far larger market for Spotify, and leaving is not a practical option. Furthermore, as Monin alluded to last week, its strategy will probably focus more on shifting resources to other markets.
In an interview with FranceInfo last week, Monin stated, “Spotify will have the means to absorb this tax, but Spotify will disinvest in France and invest in other markets.” “Investment and innovation are not encouraged in France.”