This research was conducted by Ramadan Aly‐Tovar, Maya Bacache‐Beauvallet, Marc Bourreau, and Francois Moreau at Université Sorbonne Paris Nord and Institut Polytechnique de Paris, France


This paper uses survey data from 1100 French professional musicians to draw out four main reasons why they favour free streaming. Firstly, it is a ‘discovery tool that helps consumers to explore the music catalogue’ of less well-known artists. Secondly, it is a way to drive ticket sales for live performances. Thirdly, for artists signed to major labels they expect their contracts have clauses which offer decent compensation for being on streaming sites. Finally, younger artists (or those in search of younger fans) realise that being on streaming sites is the main way to reach their fans.

The study was based on a 2014 survey of members of Adami (the performers' rights organisation for France)

The key question from the survey was: ‘Are you favourable towards the distribution of your music by free streaming?’. Respondents could pick from one of the following answers: ‘very favourable, rather favourable, rather unfavourable and very unfavourable’.

Musicians’ attitudes to streaming services were shaped by their age and notoriety, as well as their approach to making money

The survey revealed that ‘artists who need to expand their audience are more favourable toward free streaming’. The younger and newer artists ‘value more the opportunity to expand their audience than worry about the low revenues they will obtain’ and ‘the younger the target audience of an artist is, the more positive his/her opinion on free streaming’.

Title Why would artists favor free streaming?
Author(s) Aly‐Tovar, R., Bacache‐Beauvallet, M., Bourreau, M. & Moreau, F.
Publication date 2019
Source Journal of Cultural Economics, online
Author email