Although the digital catalogue is centralized on servers in Cupertino (California headquarters of Apple) and management of sales and the acquisition of rights in Europe are made from the Luxembourg (1), iTunes is already available to users in France "more than 2.3 million titles scanned and available to date." This is what confirms a leader of the music store from Apple, which arrives at the head of the French market for musical platforms before the FnacMusic, eCompil, SonyConnect, VirginMega or OD2 (2). Most of them have each in turn, often well before Christmas 2005, crossed the Cape of 1 million titles available.
The exceeded one million as of December 2005
Example: OD2, whose servers are based in Bristol in Great Britain (3), have exceeded 1 million early December to today "1.2 million digital titresá available. It is said if the figures at the beginning of the year by the Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, and François Loos, Delegate Minister for industry, were already obsolete and wrong! The meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Charter on January 17 (4), it was announced a number of digital titles available at end of 2005 "out read data ing the 750,000" (5). In the release in question, the two Ministers took note of these "encouraging results" and had indicated that the number of titles available on platforms "approaches it million in the coming months". But the speed of digital encoding has fulfilled Although departmental wishes until they are made! These "official" figures seem yet to have been guaranteed by the national Union of the Edition French phonographic (Snep) and the Union of phonographic producers independent (Upfi).
iTunes remains discreet on its 2.3 million
According to the Snep, which brings together the majors of the disc in France (Universal, EMI, Sony BMG, Warner, etc.), "more than 1.5 million titles" 'majors companies' international were already digitized late last year: "in France, he explained, 910 000 titles already have the permission of rights holders to be digitally marketed, about 60 more than a year ago. Almost 80 per cent of them (or 700,000 titles) are already scanned to be made available on French platforms. "The discretion, or even the"cult of secrecy", which iTunes Europe on its catalog content - to avoid, said us," any controversy and quarrel of numbers "-probably explains a false assessment of music offer available legally (see box next page). Bet the next monitoring of the Charter Committee, scheduled on April 24, change the shooting. In any event, iTunes is one of the six main suppliers of online music that the Snep and the Upfi were retained to form the "barometer of the musical offering" on the Internet, namely: SonyConnect, OD2 VirginMega, FnacMusic, iTunes and eCompil. The Apple platform dominates a market consisting of 21 sites, insofar as they are three to serve other websites in white mark: VirginMega against Europe 2, MCM, PepsiCola and MFT; eCompil to MyNRJCokeMusic; OD2 with Alapage, MSN, Alice/Tiscali, Wanadoo, Packard Bell, Cora, M6, MTV France, France recreation and stores U.
The Observatory of music was implemented following the signing, on 28 July 2004, the "Charter of commitments for the development of the legal offer of music online, the respect of intellectual property and the fight against digital piracy (6)". At the time, the objective was to "put the number of titles, either directly or indirectly, from 300 000 to 600 000 before the end of the year 2004" (7). The Observatory of music publishes a barometer of legal music offer presented with a "top" of best sales of albums and singles by the GfK Institute. Six "bimonthly waves" were planned, which the last was to be published late March to surveys conducted in late December. In any event, legal online music platforms have been at the heart of rather heated parliamentary exchanges around Bill copyright and neighbouring rights in the information society (DADVSI) will occur in May before the Senate. Economic and technological viability has been questioned (see box opposite). Members of Parliament believe that the number of musical titles available on 21 legal platforms appears to be "very low" and "is the only number available in a department store albums", while "digitization effort, because of its cost, is that of bestsellers, resulting inevitably a decrease in cultural diversity".
An interoperability problem
As the Charter music, it has "nothing concrete for interoperability of platforms of download online and listening equipment. DADV Bill adopted on 21 March to the National Assembly to remedy the risk to worry iTunes. The music store Apple offers to burn and transfer an unlimited number of times its digitized piece of music but the iPod is the only compatible playerwith the Californian manufacturer "Fairplay" format. The European Office of consumers (BEUC) denounces him, this "technical puzzle" and "poverty of the offer. In fact, the famous DRM (8) are picks the finger in the direction where they lock playback on a type of drive. It is the opinion of the President of Yahoo Music Dave Goldberg. UFC-Que choose also denounced the "distressing" result of the availability of the works on cultural diversity (9).
(1) - iTunes is not based in Apple France.
(2) - On Demand Distribution (OD2), group Loudeye.
(3) - OD2 France has commercial premises in Paris.
(4) - This meeting came on the eve of Midem (international music market).
(5) - André Nicolas, responsible for the Observatory of the music, specific to the letter of telecommunications that the exact figure by the Observatory of the music he load was 762 000 titles.
(6)-(7) Online - this reasonable objective was reached in his lower range. It wasn't until the following summer (August 2005) to the top of this same range is reached.
(8) - Digital rights management (DRM).
(9) - A French title for three English and unavailability of two-thirds of the titles.
Platforms in 2005: 18.5 million euros of turnover
For the year 2005, the turnover is estimated in France by the Observatory of the music to 18.5 million euros TTC for a volume of 20 million downloads (1). "The rise in charge of this market digital full track download, therefore excluding ringtones (ringtones) and streaming, significantly increased from the last trimester." The ceiling price of 0.99 euro TTC for downloading a title does not reflect the reality of the average transfer price. According to the platforms, the average price is lower. It is 0.85 euro TTC and 1.56 euro TTC on mobile. "Several reasons for this: downloading an album comprising between 14 and 17 titles decreases the average price of the title as much and promotions or subscription forms", says André Nicolas, responsible for the Observatory of the music.
Universal Music in head
The event of the "top 200" albums gives the good share to Universal Music, followed by EMI, Sony BMG, Warner Music, Wagram, Naive, Discograph, Pias, Keltia Music and Night & Day. The part of Universal Music is even 40 when it comes to singles, follow-up of Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music, Wagram Pias. The French variety dispute to the international variety first place in terms of availability of albums on the platforms. "It would seem beneficial, ends André Nicolas, that platforms can find sufficient marks to increase marketing and essential titles and albums exhibition editorial effort."
1 - The world market for online music could be multiplied by 7 by 2010 to $ 10.7 billion against 1.5 billion in 2005, according to a study In-Stat.
iTunes: the right model
MP PS of the Nièvre, Christian Paul, intervened in the parliamentary debate on 10 March on Bill copyright and neighbouring rights to cause the economic model of a legal digital music download platform - including Apple's iTunes. "Your Internet fair is a predatory Internet for artists that affects only for clopinettes. "For a purchased piece 99 euro cents, the author affects 7 c, interpreted 4 c, while the producer receives 66 c and 16 c VAT", he said in speaking to the Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres. And add: "It's Apple that has set the model economy."
To a public platform
The Member also requested that Internet access providers pay artists "compensation". The day before, on March 9, the PC member of the Bouches Frédéric Dutoit made by parliamentarians and the Government adopt an amendment to "the implementation of a platform public of download to both the dissemination of the works of young designers whose works are not available on legal download platforms, and the just remuneration of their authors". Spedidam (1), in turn, assigned March 6 main platforms (Apple's iTunes, e-comp., FnacMusic, OD2, SonyConnect and VirginMega) "infringement" and sale of records "without having collected the permission of the artists".
1 - Company collection and distribution of the rights of performers of music and dance (Spedidam).
Evolution of the number of digitized music titles available on 21 present legal platforms in France
1 November 2004: 308 000 titles - 31 January 2005: 436 000 titles - 30 April 2005: 500, 000 titles - 31 August 2005: 621 000 titles.
31 November 2005: 652 000 titles - December 31, 2005: more than 1 million of securities -March 2006: more than 2 million titles.
According to our information, the "official" number of 750,000 is wrong. The million is largely exceeded since early December 2005.