IMPALA Supports EC Approval of New French Youth Music Card

14th October 2010

Independent music companies across Europe welcome the EC’s approval of the French youth music card.  The card is an excellent initiative to encourage young music fans to access music through legal services. It is part of a package of measures recommended in the French Creation and Internet report published earlier this year.

The report also included other innovative measures to complement the graduated response system, such as guaranteeing market access for SMEs, delivering diversity on music services and supporting ongoing talent development.

Helen Smith, Executive Chair of IMPALA, said: “The music card is unique and demonstrates the importance of a carrot as well as stick approach. Alongside measures to guarantee market access and diversity, a European music card could be part of a new EC strategy to developing the digital market.”

To see IMPALA’s summary of the French Creation and Internet report, please click here

About the ‘Carte Musique’
The music card aims to encourage young people (under 26) to access music from legal services. It was one of the package of recommendations included in the French Creation and Internet report.  The cards cost 25€ and entitles the consumer to 50€ of credit for online music services.  The scheme will run for two years and individual services will have their revenue from the cards capped at €5million.  The card is expected to be made available from the end of October.

IMPALA was established in April 2000 to help independent music companies represent their own agenda and promote the expansion and competitiveness of independent music in the interests of entrepreneurial and cultural diversity.
99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists - they produce more than 80% of all new releases. SME’s also produce 80% of Europe’s jobs. Their potential is enormous but is hampered by complex barriers to trade and severe market access problems. The impact on diversity, consumer choice and pluralism is clear. Over 95% of what most people hear and see, whether on radio, retail or the internet, is concentrated in the hands of four multinationals, known as the majors.
Cultural and creative SMEs are now officially recognised by the EU as “the drivers of growth, job creation and innovation”. IMPALA expects the EC and its member countries to put in place key investment, digital and market access measures. Fostering Europe's economy of culture and diversity is one of the EU's top priorities in becoming the world's leading knowledge economy. Culture is a bigger earner than any of chemicals, automobiles or ICT manufacturing and provides more than 3% of Europe's jobs.
IMPALA has its own award scheme to help promote cultural diversity and new talent and highlight the artistic contribution of independent music. IMPALA award winning artists include Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys, Carla Bruni, Manu Chao, Corneille, Katie Melua, Franz Ferdinand, The Prodigy, Placebo and Ibrahim Ferrer (Buena Vista Social Club).