Deezer, Beezik & co start a lobbying campaign: less taxes, less royalties, and € 2 M in subsidies

22 Jan, 2013



Music streaming industry obviously became a mature industry: it started a lobbying campaign for lower taxes.

The French streaming music industry has started a lobbying campaign, a few days before the entire music industry gathers at MIDEM in Cannes. In short, they want to pay less taxes, pay lower royalties to the music labels, get subsidies for “innovation” and benefit from the negotiating prowess of the big US players.

First: taxes. The ESML, the federation of companies like Deezer and Beezik says it can’t compete with international streaming music platforms because of the high VAT it has to pay in France.

“13 percentage points difference in VAT can be the difference between a structurally loss making enterprise and a break even operation,” Jean-Christphoe de Launay, co-founder of Beezik, a Deezer competitor is quoted in Les Echos.

Also, the sector wants to pay the music industry a lot less than it is today. In 2012, of the 70 million euros it generated in revenues, it paid about 52 million (that’s 74 %) to the record labels. According to some, this means that streaming music can never become profitable. The industry thinks a 50/50 split would be more beneficial.

Third, the streaming industry wants the French government to start a € 2 million “innovation fund” for the sector.

Lastly, Deezer CEO Axel Dauchez (photo) thinks that the French streaming music industry should pay the same rates as YouTube, and wants the French music rights holder SACEM to enforce this. A clever idea, considering how well Google negotiates these things.

Photo: LeWeb, Flickr

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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