France’s recorded music industry topped $1bn in 2021

Superstar rapper Jul is one of the biggest streaming artists in France

Recorded music revenues in France, the world’s fifth largest music market, topped $1 billion (€861 million) in 2021, representing 14.3% year-on-Year growth and marking the fifth consecutive annual increase for the market.

That’s according to results published today (March 15) by French trade body SNEP, which include total revenues for physical and digital sales, plus streaming, neighboring rights and sync.

France’s double digit growth in 2021 eclipsed the 0.1% increase seen by the market in 2020 (the pandemic year), when the market generated €781 million ($891m).

According to SNEP’s End of Year report, physical and digital sales combined (omitting neighboring rights and sync but including streaming) increased by 15.5% YoY in 2021 to €729m ($861.7m).

Accounting for 70% of total sales in France, digital revenues (including streaming and downloads) topped €506 million ($598m) in France in 2021, marking growth of 13% or €59 million ($69m), versus 2020 when the market generated €447 million ($509m) revenues from music streaming.

Streaming made up 97% of total digital revenues in 2021, generating €492 million ($581.5m), up 15.2% versus 2020, when France generated €426 million ($485.7m) from streaming.

Paid subscription audio streaming revenues reached €378 million ($446.8m) in 2021, up 15% from €329 million ($375.14m) in 2020.

SNEP also reports that the total volume of streams in France in 2021 reached 93.5 billion, up from 85 billion in 2020.

Meanwhile, there were 22 million audio streaming users in France in 2021, according to SNEP.

Breaking that figure down, SNEP reveals that there were 7.8 million ad-supported account users in the market, and 10 million paid subscriptions (with 14.2 million premium account users when additionally taking into account family plan and individual premium users).

Taking a closer look at France’s 2021 recorded music revenue results shows that the market’s overall physical sales reached €223 million ($263.5m) last year, up 21%, or €39 million ($46m) compared to 2020 (see below).

CD sales contributed €139 million ($164.3m) to that total physical music tally, up 9.6% YoY.

Vinyl sales, meanwhile, grew 54.4% to reach €78.9 million ($93.2m) in 2021, compared to €51.1 million ($58.2m) the prior year.

Vinyl sales made up 35% of all physical sales in France in 2021, with 5.2 million records sold last year, versus 4.5 million 2020.

SNEP reports that the sales volume and revenues generated by the vinyl format have tripled in the past five years. In 2016, 1.8m vinyl LPs were sold in the market, generating €22.8 million ($24.2m).

SNEP has also published some stats on where fans were buying physical music in 2021, with €63 million ($74.4m) generated from e-commerce alone.

Of that €63 million, €57 million ($67.3m) came from online retailers, while €6 million ($7m) was turnover from artists’ websites.

Meanwhile, Neighboring rights revenues grew 7%, from €101 million ($115.1m) in 2020, to €109 million ($128.8m) in 2021.

Sync revenues increased by 11% YoY, from €21 million ($23.9m) in 2020, to €23 million ($27.1m) in 2021.

SNEP’s End of Year report also highlights the success of homegrown artists in the French market in 2021.

According to the report, “French Productions”, made up 83% of France’s Top 200 Best-Selling Albums Of 2021.

Additionally, 18 out of the Top 20 best selling albums in France last year were made by France-based artists.

Plus, 16 of the market’s Top 20 best-selling artists in 2021 were French artists.

The No.1 selling album in France last year was Civilisation by Orelsan.

The best-selling artist, according to SNEP’s report, was French rapper JUL.

“The capacity of producers to unfailingly strike new deals which develop innovative and immersive experiences is a major driver of recorded music market growth.”

Alexandre Lasch, SNEP

Alexandre Lasch, General Manager, said: “The capacity of producers to unfailingly strike new deals which develop innovative and immersive experiences is a major driver of recorded music market growth.

“Labels and record companies constantly strive to increase partnerships with platforms; they invest in new technologies and new applications, and develop expertise within teams in order to ensure that the public can connect and engage with music and the world of recording artists in as many diverse ways as possible.”

Note: EUR-USD currency conversions in this story are based on the IRS’s published annual average exchange rates.Music Business Worldwide