1.General country overview

Some formulaic introductory sentence…

1.1 Geography

Some formulaic introductory sentence…


Google Map

Capital city Paris
Administrative organisation

Paris          2,138,551
Marseille   794,811
Lyon          472,317
Toulouse   433,055
Nice          338,620


1.2 Society
Population 67,897,000
Official language(s) French
Recommended language to communicate with local professionals French, English
Average age 41,8 (median age, not average)
Human Development Index  (2021)Increase 0.903[12]
very high · 28th
Gini  (2020)Negative increase 29.3[11]
1.3 Economy
GDP Nominal Increase $2.936 trillion[10] (7th)
GDP Nominal Per Capita Increase $44,747[10] (28th)
Unemployment rate 7.1% (latest figure, September 2022)
Minimum wage (gross) 1645€
Average wage (net) 2355 (Q1 2022)
VAT rates Standard: 20% Reduced: 5,5% for admission to cultural services
1.4 Communication
Smartphone users (number of) 48.63 mln (2022)
Mobile use (number of)
Broadband subscriptions - household penetration - Mobile subscriptions

There were 60.92 million internet users in France in January 2022.

France’s internet penetration rate stood at 93.0 percent of the total population at the start of 2022.

1.5 Tax & legal
Artist status
Copyright law
2.Music Ecosystem
2.1 Music sector general overview
2.2 Live music sector
The size and overall structure of the live music market

The live music sector in France in 2019 (before the COVID crisis induced sharp fall) earned revenues in total of 2.3 bln €. 1,25 bln € was in ticket sales, with 980 mln € coming from popular music (source: CNM).

Due to the sharp fall in live sector earnings due to the COVID crisis, the estimation for the past two years is as follows:

* For 2020: 171 mln € in ticket sales, -83 %

* For 2021: 243 mln € in ticket sales -73 %


Figure 2.2.1. Ticket sales 2016 – 2021, mln €. (Source: CNM).

Figure 2.2.2. Amount of shows 2016 – 2020 (Source: CNM).


In 2019, there was in total ca 65 000 shows in popular music genres, earning 30 mln € ticket sales revenue.

Pop, rock music is representing the biggest market share in attendance and revenue.

What is the music festivals scene like?

There are approximately 1800 festivals in France. In 2019, around 7.5 mln festival tickets were sold, earning 215 mln €.

Figure 2.2.3. Festivals in France by genre (source: CNM)


Information on many festivals can be found on the website of France Festivals  

What is the venues and clubs scene like?

There are many different kinds of clubs and venues for music in France operating through various funding and business models. The exact number is not known, but FEDELIMA, a “national network gathering places and projects dedicated to popular music all over France”, has 157 members. FEDELIMA conducts yearly surveys about various aspects of their members’ activities and profile. 



There are a series of 17 modular venues in various French cities labeled Zénith. These can accommodate concert tours as well as other performing arts formats, such as plays, musicals and dance recitals. All Zéniths feature similar internal design of an indoor amphitheater that can seat at least 3,000 spectators (Source: Wikipedia). In 2019, 3 million tickets were sold to music events across all the 17 Zénith venues (source: CNM). Information (including capacity and links) can be found on the Wikipedia page Le Zénith - Wikiwand 


From the Zénith Paris website


“It was in 1981 that the Ministry of Culture, under the aegis of Jack LANG, opened its doors to rock and, more broadly, to popular music. The ministry's policy then aimed to make known the richness of today's music. In liaison with the artists and the profession, the ministry entrusted a study to Daniel COLLING for a large capacity room in Paris.


The Zénith sprang from an idea, obvious, like all good ideas: to design a room specially adapted for these types of music. It materialized with two architects, Philippe CHAIX and Jean Paul MOREL, who, with entertainment professionals, invented the concept of ZENITH.


The Zéniths are designed and built to allow the presentation of various productions to a large audience, in optimal technical conditions. Inspired by the amphitheater of ancient Greece, the Zeniths are modular multi-functional venues:

  • capacity varies from 2,200 to 6,785 people.

  • Spectators can either be accommodated in an all-seated setup or “seated-standing” 

  • The stage can be completely dismantled so that the stage space can accommodate other devices (ice rink, boxing or wrestling ring, etc.).


The acoustics of the Zénith rooms are designed to allow optimal reproduction of amplified music."


The venues are owned by public bodies, but are operated by private organisations. The shows are organized by live producers who hold a live producer license and not by the companies that operate the Zeniths.


Figure 2.2.4. Zénith venues in France (Source CNM).


Figure 2.2.5. Le Zénith Paris - La Villette.



SMAC stands for Scène de musiques actuelles and is an official label for venues with certain capacity and profile. The SMAC label, created by the French government in 2017 is awarded to cultural organisations focused on developing “popular music” in the broadest terms (in French the term is musique actuelles, perhaps best translated as contemporary music, but is taken to exclude classical academic music).   


The SMAC organisations are aimed at ensuring a diverse music life with a focus on emerging artists. They are required to develop the local music sector in three areas (source: Arrêté du 5 mai 2017 fixant le cahier missions et des charges relatif au label « Scène de Musiques Actuelles-SMAC » (rectificatif) - Légifrance):

  1. Creation, production and promotion of concerts;

  2. Support for professional and amateur musical practices;

  3. Various cultural action.


SMAC venues will also pay particular attention to the principles of:

  • diversity both through the works produced or presented to the public and the artists supported by the structure and other artistic or technical professions;

  • Gender equality in terms of access to work, production and programming as well as positions of responsibility in the structure and equal pay.


There are 89 SMAC venues with 300 – 2 000 seats capacity in France. In total, the SMAC labeled venues across the country offer nearly 6,000 public performances and bring together almost two million spectators each year. 


There is a dynamic map on the French Ministry of Culture websites with all SMAC venues linked: Carte des scènes de musiques actuelles 



Figure 2.2.6. SMAC venues in France.

A selection of live music companies

There are many companies of various size and profile operating in France. 


Mega groups

Live Nation, organising festivals such as Main Square Festival, Download Festival, Lollapalooza Paris, Les Etoiles and others.

AEG Presents, organising Rock en Seine Festival, etc. 

Lagardère Live Entertainment, a group including venues and production companies, such as Folies Bergère,

Casino de Paris, etc. 

Fimalac Entertainment, a group including venues and production companies, such as Salle Pleyel, 105 DB, Encore Productions, Uni-T Productions, Auguri Productions, Anteprima Productions, Gilbert Coullier Productions, TS3, etc. 

A selection of independent agencies

A Gauche de la Lune, Alias Production, Radical Production, Gérard Drouot Productions, Le Rat des villes, Caramba Culture Live, Bleu Citron, Junzi Arts, Furax, AFX, Miala, Allo Floride, Base Productions, Vedettes, Wart, Melodyn, Octopus, Asterios Spectacles, 3C, Pbox, Zamora Productions, Dionysiac Tour, Mad Minute Music, The Link Prod, Voulez-Vous Danser, etc.

Companies working in the 360 model

Warner Music France subsidiary Décibels Productions, including DiF

Universal Music Group affiliated (via Vivendi) Olympia Production 

Sony Music Entertainment France subsidiary Arachnée Productions 

Because Group subsidiary Corida Group, which includes concert promoters Talent Boutique, Super !, venues La Cigale and La Boule Noire, and the festival We Love Green (both managed by Corida). 

Wagram Stories subsidiary W Spectacle

Tôt ou Tard affiliated Zouave Spectacles

Zamora Productions / Zamora Label

2.3 Recorded music sector
What is the size and overall structure of the recorded music market?

Based on the figures from SNEP, the French recorded music market size (wholesale value) in 2021 was €861 million, an increase of 14.3% from €753 million in 2020. The market grew in all segments: digital consumption, physical sales, licensing of nighbouring rights through CMOs and synchronisation. The largest market segment is digital consumption, but surprisingly the segment that grew the most from 2020 to 2021 was sales of physical records (+21%).


Figure 2.3.1a. Source: SNEP-OCC


Figure 2.3.1b. Source: SNEP-OCC
Last updated: 2022

What is the structure and main trends of digital music market in FRANCE?


Based on SNEP.

Digital sales and consumption is now the leading market segment in the French recorded music market, having grown five times over the past ten years, from €110 million in 2011 to €506 million in 2021.

Figure 2.3.1c. Source: SNEP-OCC














Audio streaming subscription





Ad-supported streaming





Video streaming


























Table 2.3.1. Based on SNEP-OCC


Streaming is the dominant source of digital revenue (97,2%) and among streaming it’s the audio subscriptions that make up the bulk. While most of the streamers are young (between 16-34 year old make up 53%), the share of older segments of population streaming music has grown, indicating the audio streaming is gradually becoming the mainstream way to listen to music across all population age groups.

With 10 million paid subscriptions, up 39% in 2 years, usage brings together more than 14 million premium users (including family account users). Add the freemium offer users, there are now 22 million music and video streaming users in France.


The market share of digital streaming services was led by Deezer up to 2019, after which it is estimated that Spotify has taken the lead

Last updated: 2022


What is the structure and main trends of physical music market in FRANCE?

Based on SNEP report [link or ref]

In 2021, the physical music market experienced a spectacular rebound compared to the previous year, for the first time since the early 2000s. The physical sales, comprising both CD and vinyls, still represents nearly 30% of music sales in France with an increase of 21% from 2020.

This dynamism is due to a still solid and diverse French distribution network but also by the spectacular development of online sales. The share of e-commerce now represents1/3 physical sales, i.e. an increase of 14% in 2 years, generated by the boom both on brand websites (,, etc.) and in artist boutiques.


















Video Music





Other audio










Table 2.3.2. Based on SNEP-OCC

Vinyl sales have grown steadily over the past years, reaching 5,2 million units sold in 2021 and bringing in revenue worth €78.9 million.  This growth is led by young consumers with people under 35 (51%) among vinyl buyers.


Last updated: 2022

What kind of (recorded) music are French audiences listening to?

French (produced) music holds a strong market position with 83% of the top 200 best selling albums in 2021 being French production. It is useful to note, that in France, the concept of “produced in France” also includes artists from elsewhere, but signed to French labels and being released by them.


Based on CNM

In terms of music genres, Rap, Hip Hop, and RnB represent 61% of the Top 200 and 37% of the overall consumption. Chanson, pop, and rock represent 25% of the Top 200 and 43% of the overall consumption.



Last updated: 2022

Who are some of the main recorded music companies in FRANCE?

The three major music companies and their subsidiary labels active in France are:

Universal Music France
MCA, Capitol, Mercury, Polydor, Island Def Jam, Neuve, Romance Musique, Virgin, Universal Jazz & Classics, Decca

Sony Music Entertainment
Columbia, Jive Epic, Arista, S.M.A.R.T., A + LSO

Warner Music France

Parlophone, Elektra Records, WEA, Erato / Warner Classics, Rec. 118, Play On, Distributor of Play Two


Some of the independent labels in France are:

Tôt ou Tard    
Kitsuné Musique 
Cracki Records    
Filature Unity    
Roche Musique    
Jarring Effects    
Roy Music    
Vicious Circle    
Cold Fame    
Heavenly Sweetness

Un Plan Simple
No Format !
Zamora Label
Accords Croisés