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France’s Centre National de la Musique Bites Back Against Spotify ‘Streaming Tax’ Accusations

France streaming tax Spotify

Photo Credit: Florian Wehde

Spotify announced its intention to raise its prices in France over the country’s controversial ‘streaming tax.’ Now the Centre National de la Musique is biting back, accusing the streaming giant of misrepresentation.

After France announced a so-called “streaming tax” to help fund the country’s National Music Center, Spotify was quick to announce an increase in its prices in the country to compensate. But now France’s Centre National de la Musique (CNM) has released a response, accusing Spotify of misrepresentation of the tax in its statement last week.

“Contrary to what Spotify says, not a single cent of this [tax] is used to fund the CNM’s operations: the proceeds of the levy are invested entirely in the financial aid programs that the CNM deploys for projects by artists and music companies to support the emergence, diversity, and international development of French music,” reads a translation of the CNM’s statement.

“This new redistributive contribution from recoded music is based on a principle of solidarity. It has been developed in consultation with the entire industry,” the CNM continues. “The Centre National de la Musique regrets that Spotify is trying to make its subscribers believe that this new price increase, which seems to be in line with previous decisions, is solely due to the introduction of a system of solidarity contributions to support musical diversity.”

In addition to raising its prices in France, Spotify also severed ties with two French music festivals — Les Francofolies de la Rochelle and Le Printemps de Bourges — due to the tax, which will require DSPs to pay 1.2% of both subscription based and ad supported revenue.

Though Spotify is not the only streaming provider affected by the tax, and several DSPs have voiced their opposition to such a tax, neither Apple Music nor the Paris-based Deezer have released official responses regarding the change.

Spotify said it would retool its pricing for “all French users” in “the coming weeks and months.” Currently, the Stockholm-based company charges just over $12 (€10.99) for its solo plan and $19.68 (€17.99) for its family plan in France — comparable to what Deezer charges.

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