Spotify Withdraws Support From Music Festivals to Protest French Tax


Spotify has withdrawn its support from two music festivals in France in response to the country’s introduction of a new tax that is opposed by music-streaming platforms.

The company’s managing director for the France and Benelux regions, Antoine Monin, expressed his dissatisfaction with the tax in a post on X, and the company called the tax a “real blow to innovation,” TechCrunch reported Friday (Dec. 22).

In response to the tax, Spotify has decided to withdraw its support from the Francofolies de la Rochelle and Printemps de Bourges music festivals, starting in 2024, according to the report. Monin also hinted at further actions to be taken in 2024, although he did not provide specific details.

The tax, which will impose a levy of between 1.5% and 1.75% on all music-streaming services, aims to support the French music sector through the Centre National de la Musique (CNM), the report said.

Spotify, along with other major music-streaming platforms like Apple, YouTube and Deezer, has strongly opposed the new law, per the report.

Due to its opposition to the new tax, Spotify is reallocating resources to other markets, according to the report. While the company will not pull out of such a large market and has the means to absorb the tax, it believes that France does not encourage innovation and investment. Therefore, the company has decided to disinvest in France and invest in other markets instead.

The controversy surrounding the new tax in France is not the first time Spotify has been involved in a dispute over regulations, the report said.

The company recently clashed with the Uruguayan government over a law that aimed to ensure fair remuneration for artists, per the report. Spotify argued that the law would require it to pay rightsholders twice for the same tracks, leading to its initial decision to cease operations in the country. However, Spotify reversed its decision after the government provided assurances that music-streaming platforms would not bear additional costs resulting from the law.

Twenty-five percent of consumers say they spend indulgently on streaming services, according to “New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report,” a PYMNTS and LendingClub collaboration.