Is SFR Really France’s Number One Download Destination?

Vivendi recently stated in their annual earnings that “SFR: [is the] #1 music platform in France for downloads in Q4 2007” and press reports place their December downloads at 2 million. All of which sounds pretty impressive except for the fact that they’re almost certainly not #1. As readers of this blog will know, Jupiter tracks the European music download markets closely, both for mobile and PC. The total music downloads (PC and mobile) for France for December 2007 was in the region of 8 million. That would put SFR’s 2 million downloads somewhere in the region of a quarter of the total for that month and somewhat behind Apple based upon our calculations. Also SFR’s numbers include free promotional and bundled tracks not included in Jupiter’s 8 million figure.

Some may recall the Music Load in Germany attempted to claim number one spot and published their numbers, only for Apple to counter with theirs and establish themselves at number one. It appears they’re gambling Apple won’t do so here. However my colleague Thomas Husson adds that SFR’s aggressive and compelling Illimythics offering has the potential to make them a much bigger player should they retain current momentum.