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France Electro

France Electro

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Published by David McLoughlin

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Published by: David McLoughlin on Jun 08, 2009
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France Export Handbook
 – 
Electro -
ELECTRONICMUSICS
UMMARY
2.1. INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................................... 22.1.1. PRELUDE........................................................................................................................................................ 22.1.2. THE SITUATION OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND DANCE MUSIC IN FRANCE (MARKET, SALES,MEDIA COVERAGE)............................................................................................................................................... 22.1.3. ADVICE TO ENTER THE FRENCH MARKET............................................................................................ 32.1.4. MAJORS, ELECTRONIC AND DANCE MUSIC.......................................................................................... 4
2.2. LABELS AND DISTRIBUTORS..........................................................................................................4
2.4. PROMOTION & MEDIA ....................................................................................................................10
CONTACTS................................................................................................................................................15
MEDIA..................................................................................................................................................................... 15PROMOTION .......................................................................................................................................................... 19ORGANIZERS......................................................................................................................................................... 23CLUBS..................................................................................................................................................................... 29FESTIVALS............................................................................................................................................................. 36BOOKING................................................................................................................................................................ 46DISTRIBUTORS...................................................................................................................................................... 49
 
France Export Handbook
 – 
Electro -
2. ELECTRONIC MUSIC
2.1. INTRODUCTION
2.1.1. PRELUDEFirst and foremost, I will proceed in defining certain terms that I feel is necessary to the correct
understanding of this study. Throughout the globe, the British term ‘dance’ refers to all Dance music
composed with electronic sounds as a base; this is not the case in France however. More often than notused in a pejorative manner, the term
dance
only designates in France the said ‘commercial’ electronicmusic, which can be compared to ‘euro dance’ in English. Throughout this paper, the term
 Dance
willbe in reference to the French definition.For all other forms of electronic music perceived as more underground, one could use the termelectronic music to designate the latter, or simply refer to the name of the subcategories, such ashouse, techn
o, drum’n’bass, downbeat, nu
-jazz, broken beat, garage and so forth...I will use
Electronicmusic
to refer to the above styles.In the UK, Spain, and Germany, there is an active musical landscape within each country (Brighton,Sheffield, Manchester, Barcelona, Ibiza, Cologne or Frankfort for example), whereas in France, theelectronic scene suffers of a very French characteristic: centralisation. The Parisian scene is veryactive in terms of music labels, distributors, renowned clubs, however in the exception of Marseille,Lyon, Toulouse and Montpellier; the other French cities are fairly under-sized. In order to have anational audience, it is recommended to start off in Paris.2.1.2. THE SITUATION OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC AND DANCE MUSIC IN FRANCE(MARKET, SALES, MEDIA COVERAGE)From 1999 to today, Electronic music represents between 3% and 9% of the total CD sales in France.The only official statistics that we have are those of the SNEP (National Syndicate of Editors andMusic producers) which essentially represents major labels and a few important independent labelsand distributors. These figures therefore do not take into account the sales of independent distributors(around 10 of them in France), who are very present in the electronic genre.Again these statistics arenot entirely correct, as they include the sales of major Electro artists such as Air or Daft Punk, whereassales of major artist are currently counted in other categories such as
French Pop
,
International Pop
oragain
Rock 
.If we refer to the figures given by the SNEP, they clearly show a decrease in electro and dance music.
Albums and singles together, the ‘techno, jungle, house’ category went from 3.7% of sales in 2001 to
 
France Export Handbook
 – 
Electro -
0.8% in 2002. Dance is included in the ‘miscellaneous’ category (wh
ich equally includes genres suchas children, country, new-age, ambience, trip-hop, and hard rock...) that sold 8.2% in 2001 for 6% in2002. How can one explain these statistics when electro seems to be well infiltrated (largest presenceon FM, ad synch etc.) and makes 37 % of French export sales (SNEP reference)? Simply by movinglarge selling artists to other categories: artists such as Björk or Moby are classified as
InternationalVariety
, Gotan Project as ‘World Music’, Daft Punk and David Guetta as ‘French Variety’, which
evidently can only false the official figures. It is crucial to specify that there is a strong presence of 
electro in the ‘compilation’ category. Nevertheless, electro and dance music have been, since 2003,
going through a difficult phase, with vinyl sales decreasing (-20%) similarly to the CD sales, at theexception of mixed productions with world, downtempo, pop or rock. The true figures, in terms of sales should be towards 8% to 10% than what the SNEP shows. It is interesting to notice that there is aslight increase of vinyl sales at the start of 2004.Concerning musical genres and sub-genres, trance music (psychedelic or progressive) does not workin France; it is difficult to find an audience. There is no specialised press, very few radio stations and
distributors (except Cyber Productions) in this genre. Clubs and organised nights (the “Gaïa” for 
example) are really the only way in, for this style of music. House music can be quite successful, aswell as
Electro-rock
or
Electro-pop
(in the same spirit as Air, Chicks on Speed, Miss Kittin, DJHell.). Techno music does not sell much more than 10 000 to 15 000 copies in France (25 000 at best,
in the case of Richie Hawtin and Jeff Mills). Drum’n’Bass and others like Hard
-core (gabber, Indusetc.), represent a micro-market. However, lounge, nu-jazz, downbeat, trip-hop are fairly well sold:gold album for Gotan Project, Bugge Wesseltoft sells 30 000 in France, 100 000 for the Hotel
Costes
compilations...Dance music similar to the Benassi Bros, can reach important sales if correctlyintroduced to clubs by major labels (Sorpio, Happy Music etc.) and promotion companies. Dancemusic however is not a good album seller.2.1.3. ADVICE TO ENTER THE FRENCH MARKETIt is important to enter the French market through two parallel and complementary axes: thedistribution of your products and live events, more specifically the Parisian scene that may easilyattract the French media. It is widely recommended to go through a promotion agency, even only for afew months or a few albums, thus giving the time to the label to make a name and reputation for itself.Promotion agencies can work both on the promotion of an album and on a live tour. It is equallycrucial to give a dynamic affect. Once the artist is introduced, you will then be able to target thespecialised press and radios. It is difficult to advise you on what promotion company to get in contactwith, as they are more often than not specialised in a certain musical genre.
Phunk Promotion
and
Ping Pong
are the most established, the most efficient and the most eclectic in terms of styles of music.

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