French government pays 50% of your downloads

The European Commission approved an initiative in France to subsidize 50% of the cost of online music services for the target group of 12-25 year-old French residents.

They will be eligible to purchase €50 worth “Carte Musique”, an access card for various services at just €25, limited to one card per year.  The difference will be paid by the French government, estimated €50 million over a two-year stretch (based on sales of one million cards per year).  The cards can then be used on participating music subscription and download services.

Stores participating in the “Carte Musique” thing will be required to lower the price of downloads and extend subscription terms, and subsidies will be capped at €5 million per store.  At this point, participating stores have not been announced.

The plan starts in a matter of weeks, according to Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterand.  EC Commissioner Joaquin Almunia was instrumental in the plan’s approval.  “We welcome initiatives from member states to increase the availability of music online at a lower price for consumers and through legal distribution channels,” Almunia stated.  “Music online is certainly a driver for the success of the internet and for economic development.”

Will the French government lower direct subsidies for the music industry in other sectors rewardingly?

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