In an effort to “promote cultural diversity” and combat illegal song downloads, the French government has decided to subsidize legal music downloads for 12-25 year olds.
As remarkable as this sounds, it’s true.
It will cost France approximately $35 million per year (25 million euros) and only French residents are eligible (darn!) French 12-25 year olds can purchase a “Carte Musique” to download music from subscription based download platforms. The card will be worth 50 Euros or approximately $70 worth of downloads, and cost eligible consumers only half that – the government will pay the other half. Cards are limited to one per year and the program will be available, at least initially, for two years.
The plan is to get young french folks into the habit of legally downloading music, and the fact that the French government is willing to get involved is pretty amazing.
Websites are also required to eat some of the costs by lowering their download prices, extending subscription lengths or contributing to the costs of the cards. Reportedly, some of the larger sites such as ITunes and Amazon may not play due to the cost.