Digital revenues in France exceeded physical revenues for the first time ever in 2018, and now accounts for 57% of the market (€335m).
That’s according to the latest figures from SNEP, which also show that the French recorded music market grew by 1.8% in 2018 – marking the country’s third straight year of growth.
Total recorded music revenue in 2018 was €735m – which is still only equivalent to 40% of the market’s value 15 years ago.
Streaming revenues grew by 23% in 2018 with paid subscriptions generating 41% of music sales, compared to 8% five years ago.
Meanwhile, free listening on audio services and Video on Demand platforms account for less than 10% of total sales in France.
There were 57.5 billion audio streams recored in the territory in 2018 – up 35% on the previous year, with weekly listening figures peaking at 1.3 billion at the end of December.
Although the market in France is enjoying a period of buoyancy owed to the mass adoption of subscription-based music streaming services, CDs still represent more than one third of all physical and digital revenue in the country.
According to SNEP, the €256m physical market in France has faired better than in many other territories due to a “unique distribution network of more than 4,000 sales outlets across French territory”.
The willingness of French consumers to spend money on physical music can be witnessed in the phenomenal success of the 51st studio album Mon Pays C’est L’amour released by the late superstar artist, (‘French Elvis’) Johnny Hallyday, which sold over 630,000 units in its first three days in stores.
Also contributing to the robust physical market in France in 2018 was the booming vinyl business – around 4m units were bought across the year, representing a ‘five-fold’ increase over the past five years.
Vinyl now accounts for almost a fifth of physical market revenue in France.
Looking back to the previous year, in 2017, total annual sales in the French recorded music market were €583m (up 3.9% or €22m on 2016).
By the end of 2017, money earned from streaming was up 23% (€46m) year on year to reach €243m, accounting for 41.6% of the market.
Physical music had a marketshare of 51.2% in 2017, which was down 4.7% to €298m.
“In a recovering market, we are particularly proud of the spectacular success of the Made in France artists, who featured in 19 of the 20 Best-selling albums of 2018, as well as 80% of the Top 200.”
Alexandre Lasch, SNEP
Alexandre Lasch, General Manager of SNEP, said: “In a recovering market, we are particularly proud of the spectacular success of the Made in France artists, who featured in 19 of the 20 Best-selling albums of 2018, as well as 80% of the Top 200.
“Record producers are hardwired to discover and accompany artists in their careers. One very significant performance indicator in 2018 which highlighted their commitment was the wealth of new talent in the best-performing albums of the year: out of the top 200 best-selling albums of last year, 48 were debut albums, 40 of which were produced in France.”Music Business Worldwide