France add a tax on music streaming and Spotify aren’t happy

France, has been pushing the idea of a music tax for some time now, and it’s finally going ahead. It will tax all music streamed at 1.75%. Spotify are so unhappy that they’ve pulled their sponsorship from two French music festivals.

France add a tax on music streaming and Spotify aren't happy. Photo of a laptop with Spotify loaded. Next to the laptop, on the desk is a book with a smartphone on top.
Credit: Unsplash

Earlier in 2023, French Senator Julien Bargeton presented the Minister of Culture, Rima Abdul with a report showing why taxing music streamed within France would be a smart choice. It seems one of the points made was that French music culture could be preserved better if they followed through with this option. Rather than outside music taking over.

Within the report it stated that if “we only have a choice between content that is produced by other great powers, (…) that our cultural heritage as well as our contemporary creation are no longer those to which we have access, we are changing the world drastically.” French newspaper Les Echos believes the change is aimed at French pop becoming a global success.

With the tax being introduced, an extra €20 million would be raised from both free and paid streaming. The good news for music listeners is, they won’t be able to tell. The money won’t be taken from them. Instead, it will be taken from the music company’s cut. Leaving the streaming platforms with less revenue.

It isn’t just Spotify that would be effected by this. All streaming stores will receive the same tax, however, Spotify in particular aren’t happy. It’s likely because they feel they bring more than enough to France’s door. They offer various sponsorships which allow huge events to go ahead. Two being Les Francofolies de la Rochelle and Le Printemps de Bourges.

These two music festivals will miss out this year as Spotify have pulled their funding. The streaming store seems ready to prove a point. While the French Senator has good intentions, aiming to protect local music artists, they have caused some upset. Will the extra revenue earned make up for the loss of Spotify’s sponsorships? sign up for free GIF
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