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The diffusion of songs of French expression

The legal basis of the quotas

Private radios

Under the law of September 30th, 1986 relating to the freedom of communication, the private radio stations are held to diffuse a certain proportion of songs of French expression. Article 28-2 (a) of the law which establishes this obligation is thus written:
“The substantial proportion of musical works of expression French or interpreted in a regional language of use in France must reach a minimum of 40% of songs of French expression, of which the half at least coming from new talents or new productions, diffused at the hours of significant listening by each service of sound broadcasting authorized by the Superior council of audio-visual, for the share of its programs made up of music of varieties.
By way of derogation, the CSA can authorize, for specific formats, the following proportions:

  • maybe, for the radios specialized in the development from the musical heritage, 60% of French-speaking titles of which a percentage of new productions which can go up to 10% of the total, with at least a title per hour on average;
  • maybe, for the radios specialized in the promotion from young talents, 35% of French-speaking titles including at least 25% of the total coming from new talents.”

In 2016, new legislative measures

In 2016, the Parliament adopted, within the framework of the relative bill to the freedom of creation, architecture and the heritage, of new provisions aiming at more precisely framing the diffusion of the songs of French expression by the radios.

This legislative work made following a report required by the Minister for the Culture and Transport of Mr. Jean-Marc Bordes on the exposure of the music in the media. This report understood 18 proposals, including one aiming at “ mettre in place a system of malus to prevent a too strong concentration of the diffusions, practised by certain musical radios on their Top 10 ”.

Result of this work, article 35 of the law n° 2016-925 of July 7th, 2016 relating to the freedom of creation, architecture and the heritage supplements the relative tendencies with the diffusion of songs of French expression to radio operator of the (2a) of article 28 of the law of September 30th, 1986 on three shutters:

  • initially, the addition of a third derogatory mode ad hoc for the radios known as of “musical discovery” (radios which diffuse at least thousand different titles over one month given of which the half at least are new productions, each one of these titles not being diffused more than one hundred times over this same period): at least 15% of new French-speaking productions or new French-speaking talents;
  • in second place, introduction of a malus aiming at excluding some from the diffusions of the ten most programmed French-speaking titles, those intervening beyond 50% of the total of the French-speaking diffusions, in the calculation of the respect of the obligations as regards diffusion of songs of French expression;
  • lastly, the creation of a no-claims bonus allowing the modulation downwards total quotas of songs of French expression (quota of 40% of the general scheme; quota of 35% of the derogatory mode for the radios specialized in the discovery of the new talents) within the limit of 5 points and subject to the respect of several cumulative conditions relating in particular to commitments substantial and quantified in order to promote the diversity of the musical programming.


Pursuant to the provisions of article 18 of the law of September 30th, 1986 modified by article 34 of the law of July 7th, 2016, the Council must henceforth give an account, on the one hand, of the respect by the editors of services of radios of the must carries of musical works of French expression fixed by their convention and, on the other hand, of measurements to put an end to the noted failures and of the reasons for which it does not have, if necessary, not taken such measurements.



Public service

Article 30 of the specifications of the missions and of Radio France lays out: “In its programs of varieties taken as a whole, the company gives a majority place to the song of French original expression and endeavours to promote the new talents”.

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Key dates

  • February 1st, 1994 - Vote, by the National Assembly, of the amendment presented by the senator Pelchat

  • August 1st, 2000 - Adoption, by the National Assembly, of two derogatory provisions to the law of February 1st, 1994