the government proposes to tax music streaming

On September 30, six NUPES deputies presented a bill proposing to tax music streaming platforms such as Spotify, Deezer or Apple Music by 1.5% on their income. This tax would thus take up the bases of the YouTube tax and would be used to finance the National Music Center. Deezer immediately reacted by raising alarm about the advantage given to American companies.

Spotify audiobook
Credits: Unplash

Towards a further increase in the price of music streaming platforms? The thing is not impossible if the bill of six NUPES deputies, tabled on September 30, is validated by the authorities. More specifically, an amendment proposes to impose on Spotify, Deezer or even Apple Music to donate 1.5% of their income to the State which, in turn, would use this money to finance the National Music Center (CNM) .

Created in 2020, this organization aims to preserve musical diversity in France by supporting institutions and artists, while acting as an observatory of the industry. Thus, this tax would work in the same way as the “YouTube tax”, which requires audiovisual giants to donate part of their income to the National Center for Cinema and Animated Image (CNC).

Related: Music Streaming Service Comparison — Spotify, Deezer, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Which Is Best?

Deezer warns of a price increase if the tax is adopted

Some, like Prodiss, the national union for musical and variety shows, are already welcoming this bill, which will help the CNM to recover its cash flow, which has been undermined in recent years. While the institute has suffered from the reduction in the ticketing tax and aid from collective rights management organizations, the amendment tabled estimates that this new tax could bring in up to 21 million euros per year.

For its part, Deezer is worried. Ludovic Pouilly, vice-president in charge of relations with the music industry and institutions, believes that this tax would give a considerable advantage to American competitors. Indeed, European companies, of which Deezer is a part with Spotify, would be forced to increase their prices to keep their ship afloat, even though both have already opted for a price increase in 2021.

“Increasing our prices would serve the interests of other platforms in the market, and in particular[Google, Facebook, Amazon et Apple]»argues Ludovic Pouilly. “They can pay the tax, because music is not their main source of income, they can afford not to pay or absorb it. » In return, the vice-president of Deezer proposes to expand the YouTube tax to make the CNM contribute.

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