21-09-2021

Music sales in Spain grew 22% in first half 2021

Slow recovery of CD and vinyl and rise of streaming consumption, although not reaching the growth rate prior to the pandemic

Today, Promusicae presented the figures corresponding to music sales recorded in our country during first half 2021. Spaniards spent almost 169.2 million euros in consuming music, both in digital formats and in physical carriers purchases, revenues that represent 22.3% rise for Spanish recording industry compared to the same period of 2020 (138.3 million euros), a time marked by the start of the pandemic, the preventive closure of non-essential shops and the harshest lock-down.  Due to those circumstances, digital market which had reached 87% of the total market same time last year, yielded almost 2 points (85.2%) against physical market, in the face of the removal of restrictions in shops and the gradual return to normality. This has allowed to restore, to a certain point, the sales of CD and vinyl that dropped last year with widespread closures. Thus, sales of physical carriers went from 18 million during the first half 2020 to 25 million same period this year. However, this striking growth in physical sales (39.6%) is considered a "rebound" effect in front of last year's collapse (-44.8%) and does not redress sales to 2019 levels, which were 32.7 million euros, decreasing 23.4% compared to them. In other words, the industry lacked earnings of 14 million in 2020, and in 2021 only recovers 7, probably as a result of the uncertainty that remains in shops, given the successive COVID waves.

 

Streaming is high on the list of consumption preferences

Results of total market are boosted again by the good performance of digital consumption, and specifically, streaming, which is topping again the list of preferences of buyers when choosing how to use their favourite music. Digital market reaches 144 million euros, which involves a rise of 19.7% regarding the year before (120.3 million). 82.3% of revenues come from audio streaming, both premium subscriptions and ad-supported tiers, (118.5 million), whereas 15.5% consumption is from video streaming (22.3 million euros). This completes with a barely remaining 2% from tracks, albums and video permanent downloads and mobile phone products (ring and key tones).

 

As it happens with figures from physical sales, a more detailed review of the impact of the pandemic on digital and streaming markets points out to a significant decrease in the pace of growth that was being seen in previous years. Streaming returns to grow this semester, however not reaching the increase percentage of 2019.

 

Vinyl and CDs

In the context of the slow recovery of the physical market, the new rise of vinyl is one more time remarkable, a format that following its continuous boom in the consumers' preferences still increases 74% compared to the previous year. Virtually 43% of physical discs sold in shops are vinyl, providing to total sales revenues of 10.7 million euros. Vinyl is a format showing some strength and however it is still far from what is observed in other surrounding countries, such as Italy, which even having been hardly shaken by the pandemic, virtually tripled vinyl sales, carrying physical sales to a level that is even higher than before the pandemic. Meanwhile, CD continues being a safe harbour to all those who prefer to enjoy the digital sound but in a physical carrier. CD sales accounted 13.4 million during the first half of 2021.

 

Industry assessments

Antonio Guisasola, president of Promusicae, valued positively these figures and pointed out that «it is some sort of relief to provide positive growth figures on this part of the music industry. The trend is good and it is letting us recover part of the loss caused by COVID crisis. It is to be hoped that we can keep these results until the end of the year and that they spread to the rest of cultural industries». He added that «however, these good impressions should not mislead us, as we are fully facing the second half of the year and there is lot of work to be done to achieve the desired end-of-year results. The recovery trend pointed before the pandemic by music consumption and sales suffered a serious setback, going from 22.5% growth in 2019 to 10.2% in 2020.  Once the first half of 2021 has been overcome, the difficulties and uncertainties are still present in shops and in our daily life, the economy is reviving slower than expected and it doesn't seem that we can recover in a single year the good perspective we have lost along the way. A good sample of this is, for instance, the drop in revenues coming from intellectual property rights, still not recovering due to the closure of nightlife. We hope that this situation ends soon, as well as the slow recovery of activity in hotels, bars and restaurants in many autonomous regions. The industry is still hardly hit and in crisis, specially musicians and the culture in general is suffering. We still need specific incentives for the industry and the total restoration of normality to return to that path of growth so much necessary for our activity».

 

Access the infographics Music Market in Spain, 1H 2021.

 

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