Spotify Boycotts French Festivals Over New Tax Law

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The company logo of Swedish music streaming giant spotify is pictured on a smartphone in Berlin - Copyright TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP or licensors

Swedish streaming giant, Spotify, has withdrawn its contributions to two French festivals after the government announced increased taxes for music streaming platforms in France.

Spotify explains that it will not participate in the activities of Francofolies de La Rochelle and the Printemps de Bourges festivals from 2024. The streaming company can be recalled to be the loudest in protest when the announcement was made by French President Emmanuel Macron last week that the tax will be “based on a very low rate of levy on the turnover of the streaming platforms.”

It argued that the government could strike a balance by allowing streaming platforms to pay voluntary contributions to the country.

“This is a real blow to innovation, and to the growth prospects of recorded music in France. We are evaluating the follow-up to be given to the implementation of this inequitable, unjust, and disproportionate measure,” a Spotify spokesperson told AFP last week.

This interview was followed up with a joint press statement that suggested that Apple, Deezer, Meta, Spotify, YouTube, and TikTok had agreed to mobilise “more than 14 million euros” in 2025.

Meanwhile, the Union of Independent French Phonographic Producers (UPFI), the Union of Current Music (SMA), the National Union of Musical and Variety Shows (PRODISS), the Society of Authors, Composers, and Music Publishers (Sacem) have agreed to the terms of the tax increment.

Euronews Culture further reports that the Ministry of Culture has pegged the tax contribution rate at “1.2% of their turnover achieved in France” and platforms with a turnover of less than €20 million will be exempt.

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