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With the “Netflix tax” in 2013 then the “YouTube tax” in 2016 for audiovisual content platforms, it could be the turn of music streaming platforms to have to comply with taxation. The idea of a tax on music streaming has been debated for several months. Its supporters see it as an opportunity to support musical creation while the platforms concerned fear the financial consequences on subscribers of such a tax.
This weekend, the Senate voted on several amendments to the 2024 finance bill for a mandatory contribution from streaming platforms, free and paid, pure players and social networks, to the National Music Center (CNM). Created in 2020, this organization supports music professionals and guarantees the diversity, renewal and freedom of musical creation. This allows small, talented artists to be on an equal footing with the giants of the sector.
In theory, the idea is good. But in fact, the implementation of a streaming tax would mainly have an impact on users of Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and others. And that's the whole problem. But is this music tax really likely to see the light of day?
A 10% increase on Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music subscriptions
Today, the National Music Center does not benefit from any lasting funding although it happily subsidizes the music industry. To continue to support and accompany the French music industry, the CNM must find funds and it is missing several tens of millions of euros.
Faced with the consequences of a streaming tax based on the turnover of the platforms concerned, the latter are calling for a voluntary contribution and have agreed on the amounts to which they would be ready to commit. But defenders of the streaming tax do not view this alternative favorably. For the unions of independent producers, this “would condition the future of the CNM to the goodwill of a handful of private actors and would deprive it of complete independence” reports Le Figaro.
Unfortunately, the implementation of a streaming tax on music platforms would not make users happy. Ultimately, it is the subscribers who would suffer. According to the ESML union, which includes Spotify and Deezer, such a tax could lead to an increase in subscriptions of around 10%. Concretely, this represents a potential increase of 1 to 2 euros per month for users.
But nothing is decided yet. While the Senate has voted on several amendments in this direction, they must win the approval of the National Assembly. Remember that this music tax had already been considered last year by certain deputies but that it had been rejected by the National Assembly. In addition, note that Thomas Cazenave, Minister for Public Accounts, mentioned an “opinion of wisdom” rather than a real favorable opinion following this weekend's vote. Continuation in the next episode, so…
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