Music sales in Spain increase 6.2% during first half 2014

Streaming’s good performance and new releases by popular acts explain the figure

Spanish music industry reaches this year’s equator with encouraging numbers, according to 2014 H1 sales figures published today by Promusicae, association that gathers most of Spanish music producers. After years of accumulated drops in the annual sales volume, music fans in Spain have succeeded to reverse that trend for the first half 2014. Invests in recording music, in all physical and digital formats, rose in the first semester by 58.08 million euros, a 6.2% increase compared to the figure seen in the same period 2013 (54.68 million). The consolidation of streaming and the release of new albums by traditionally good-selling artists lie behind this positive figure, the first one since 2001.


The improvement is still modest for a sector that has seen a business turnover dramatically dropping, by 80%, over the last 13 years. However, 2014 figures are rising in physical formats as well as in digital consumption. Sales of CDs and other physical formats (mainly vinyl and DVD) represent 32.1 million, 6.5% increase compared to 2013’s 30.1 million. The evolution is quite similar in the digital area, with a rise of 5.85% (24.5 to 25.9 million). Consequently, the share between physical and digital markets remains at an almost identical proportion of 55/45.


The reasons for this encouraging behavior of the music market in 2014 can be manifold and are still to be subject of deep analysis at the end of the year. Nevertheless, the release of a number of titles found attractive for a wide range of fans and the good response of public have been determining. During the first half 2014 new albums have been released by such popular acts as Michael Jackson, Coldplay, Enrique Iglesias, David Bisbal, Pharrell Williams, David Barrull or Romeo Santos, among others. Traditionally, most expected releases in terms of sales concentrated around Christmas season.


Another compelling argument is the ever growing popularity of streaming, music online without download. Either monthly subscription or ad-supported tiers are rising similarly. Global figures show that streaming represented 18.9 million euros turnover during 2014 H1, exactly 14% higher than in 2013 H1 (16.5 million).


From 400,000 to 1 Million streams

The adaptation of the recording industry to new consumption habits has contributed to make this figure come true, figures in black for the first time since 2001. It is now the first anniversary of Promusicae streaming chart, firstly released on 10th July 2013. 400,000 weekly streams were needed then to reach Top 1, while today’s number 1 song, Bailando (Enrique Iglesias feat. Cuban Descemer Bueno) has been exceeding for several weeks one million clicks.


The boom of streaming partially offsets a worse performance of other modalities that seem to lose fuel. Mobile related products (such as ring tones and ring back tones) decreased by 20% and today account to only 729,000 euros. Downloads of digital songs, albums and videos (through services such as iTunes, for instance) also dropped 9% and set a 6.3 million euro business volume.


Promusicae’s president, Antonio Guisasola, reminded that, in any case piracy “keeps being a regular, massive, treacherous and unpunished plundering of the work of thousands of musicians, performing artists and composers in Spain”. He added: “the governing party and the rest of parliamentary groups have now an unbeatable opportunity to offer a better protection to creators, with the imminent passing of the new Intellectual Property Law. It is a historical occasion for Spanish public authorities to commit once and for all with this country’s culture. During the last 15 years their attitude has either been of passivity, indifference or mild support. It is in their hands to defend, at last, those who can enrich not only our cultural heritage but also our NGP”.


Finally, Guisasola was “cautious, but moderately satisfied with these results that, for the first time in a very long time, give certain cause for hope”. This favorable evolution means, in his view, that music industry “is working in the right direction showed by consumers in terms of a higher diversification and specialization of products, to adequate to different customers’ profiles. We can only hope for the persistence of this upward market trend in the second half of 2014".