(CTN News) – Spotify has decided to withdraw its support for two music festivals as a form of protest against a controversial new tax aimed at music-streaming platforms in France.
During an interview this week, Antoine Monin, the managing director for Spotify in France and Benelux, expressed his opposition to the tax.
The tax is expected to impose a levy of approximately 1.5 to 1.75% on all music-streaming services, with the funds being allocated to the Centre National de la Musique (CNM), established in 2020 to support the French music industry.
While other major music-streaming platforms such as Apple, Google’s YouTube, and local player Deezer have also voiced their opposition to the new law, Has been particularly vocal.
In response to last week’s announcement, Spotify described the tax as a significant setback for innovation and stated that it was considering its next steps.
Now, Spotify has revealed its initial course of action. Monin announced that the company will no longer provide support for the Francofolies de la Rochelle and the Printemps de Bourges festivals starting in 2024. Spotify has been offering financial assistance and other resources to these festivals.
Monin also hinted at further announcements in 2024, although he did not provide specific details about what those actions might entail.
It is important to mention that Spotify recently found itself in a dispute with the Uruguayan government regarding a new law that guarantees fair and equal compensation for all artists involved in music recordings.
Spotify argued that this law would require them to pay rightsholders twice for the same tracks, leading them to consider ceasing operations in the country.
However, the company changed its stance completely when the government assured music-streaming platforms that they would not be responsible for any additional costs resulting from the law.
In contrast, France presents a different scenario as it is a much larger market for Spotify, making it impractical for them to withdraw. As Monin suggested last week, their strategy is likely to focus on reallocating resources to other markets.
“Spotify will have the capacity to absorb this tax, but instead of investing in France, they will divest and invest in other markets,” Monin stated in an interview with FranceInfo. “France does not foster innovation and investment.”