French CD sales continue to drop as downloads boom

Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Recorded music sales in France dropped for the eighth straight year in a row in 2010, despite the enforcement of a law targeting illegal online downloads.According to statistics released Monday, CD and DVD sales dropped 8.9 per cent in 2010 compared to the year before. 


Stéphan Bourdoiseau, the president of the independent producers’ union, UPFI, says that  the drop in record sales shows that government-sponsored measures to support the industry have not worked, so far at least.

The Hadopi law against illegal downloading was passed in 2009, but users did not start receiving warnings until the end of 2010.

“[Hadopi] has not, at this point, had a significant impact on the industry’s earnings,” said Bourdoiseau, adding that a full assessment will only be possible next year.

He added that the Carte Musique - which was supposed to encourage paid downloads - has “not had the hoped-for impact either”.

Some 50,000 Carte Musique subsidies were sold since last October when it was introduced, allowing 12- to 25-year-olds to buy a 50-euro card for only 25 euros, with credit that can be spent on online music subscription services.

Digital music sales rose in 2010, up 14.1 per cent, according to the Snep, the national phonographic publisher’s union, which presented all these figures at a music industry convention in Cannes.

With 88.1 million euros of sales, digital music represents 16 per cent of the market.

And subscriptions to online streaming sites like Deezer and a new service recently introduced by French telecom company Orange, shot up 60.5 per cent.

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