Music: innovative SMEs are trying to organize themselves into a sector



His innovation caused a stir. A few weeks ago,Triangle, the loudspeaker manufacturer based in Soissons (Aisne) – well known to music lovers – has launched the AIO twin, the latest in its range, the fruit of five years of development. The result: a high-fidelity speaker without an amplifier, capable of broadcasting very high resolution audio streams from a smartphone, but also of connecting to a turntable or a video system.

“With this product, our objective is to attract a younger clientele, with new uses. We are also finalizing another even more high-end model, sold for around 2,000 euros, which will be released within twelve to eighteen months”, announces Hugo Decelle, CEO of Triangle. Thanks to its innovations, the company, founded in the 1980s, has doubled its turnover in two years, ie 8 million euros this year, 60% of which is generated internationally.

Make French know-how audible

The example of Triangle illustrates the historical French know-how in terms of musical innovation. With one downside, however: the sector, fragmented between actors with very different profiles – from the instrument maker to the supplier of equipment for concerts, through the creators of podcast platforms or specialists in recommendation algorithms – is struggling to structure itself. .

It is to enable them to get up to speed that professionals launched, in 2020, the Music Tech France (MTF) association. His creed? To gain recognition for French know-how internationally and to catch up with the delay taken by France in the race for musical innovation. “In France, music has long been associated with culture, except that it is also a business for which we need very high-level service providers more than ever,” analyzes Jean-François Bert, president of Music Tech France, which today has 80 members generating 50 million euros in turnover.

A sector that is going crescendo

“A study carried out at the end of 2020 by the National Music Center (CNM) counted more than 550 innovative companies, but we know that the ecosystem is broader, we will have to map it”, continues the manager. The financial stakes are not small. In France, the recording and listening market alone is worth nearly 620 million euros, half of which is now realized thanks to digital, streaming.

According to Goldman Sachs, the global music market, excluding performing arts, should jump from $90 billion today to $131 billion in 2030. “The objective is to capture part of this value for French companies. of the sector, but also for the artists”, insists as for him Emmanuel Delamarre, director of Plain Pictures, the incubator dedicated to creative industries in Hauts-de-France. The structure, which works in partnership with MTF, has launched a program to facilitate the sector and support project leaders.

Northern nuggets

In the Lille metropolitan area, around fifteen start-ups have already emerged. With some fine successes as a result, such as that of Bleass, who developed the algorithm for EõN, the “infinite music” app created by Jean-Michel Jarre. Or Music Story, which has risen to the top of the metadata management charts, essential for improving the offer of streaming platforms like Deezer or Qobuz. Today based in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, Music Story realizes half of its turnover (1.2 million euros) in the United States.

“Streaming saved the music industry, which had suffered a lot with piracy. Today, the potential for development is very significant”, testifies Jean-Luc Biaulet, founder of Music Story, also very involved in MTF. The company is already eyeing other growth drivers, thanks to platforms like TikTok or the world of video games.

“The entire value chain is present in France. Companies must be encouraged to develop internationally. Thus, we will perhaps avoid nuggets ending up in the bosom of international groups, as was the case with Niland, the specialist in recommendation algorithms, acquired by the Swedish Spotify,” said Jean-Luc Biaulet.

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