Spain Says 'Sí' to Streaming, Recording Biz on the Rise

Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage
Alejandro Sanz attends 'Sirope' album presentation at Reina Sofia Museum on May 4, 2015 in Madrid, Spain. 

Overall Spanish music sales grew by almost 11% in first half of 2015

Streaming has saved Spain’s music market, according to a new report from Spanish industry association Promusicae, which cites gains in streaming of almost 40% in the first six months of 2015, compared to the same period last year.

Overall, music sales in Spain from January to June totaled €70.6 million ($77 million), an increase of 11%.

The report from Promusicae  (Productores de Música de España), released Monday (July 27), noted that for the first time in the country’s history, the Spanish music industry generated more income from digital sources, including Spotify, Deezer, Napster and YouTube, than from physical sources: 53.9 percent versus 46.1 percent.

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A statement from Promusicae called subscription services and ad-supported streaming a “salvation” for a music industry sunk by piracy and an overall economic crisis. The positive outlook for 2015 followed good news that came at the end of 2014, when Spain achieved its first year-over-year gain in music sales in more than a decade. Spain’s current numbers are still far from those achieved in 2001, a banner year which was followed by a dip in music sales of more than 80%.

The new report found streaming to be the only form of music consumption that is on the rise in Spain. Physical sales dipped over the first six months of the year to €31.6 million ($34.7 million); downloads were down 3.7% from this item last year; and consumers continued to lose interest in ring tones and other mobile phone music products.

"The strength of streaming allows the Spanish recording sector to maintain a certain hope entering the second and decisive semester,” Promusicae sources said, citing holiday sales and the performance of Apple Music as decisive factors for the year-end outcome in Spain.

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At the beginning of 2015, Promusicae debuted a weekly chart that combines track streams and downloads to reflect "a more meaningful picture of the Spanish phonographic scene.” 

Alejandro Sanz’s album Sirope, and Gente de Zona’s track “La Gozadera,” featuring Marc Anthony, are currently at the top of those respective album and song charts.