Spanish physical music sales slumped by a record 22.7% in 2007 to 284 million euros ($417.5 million) in wholesale prices, compared to 365.6 million euros ($540 million) in 2006, labels' body Promusicae reports.

This was the sixth successive year of falling music sales, but the 2007 decline was the biggest ever. In 2002, music sales fell 16% over the previous year; in 2003, the drop was 6%; in 2004 it was 13%; the 2005 fall was almost 6%; and in 2006 sales slumped by 15.3%.

A 24.3% increase in digital music sales to 27 million euros ($40 million) was not enough to offset the collapse in physical sales. Digital sales in 2007 of single tracks and original tones represented just 9.5% of the total market. Although this is up on the 5.8% share of 2006, Promusicae president Antonio Guisasola says "the digital market in Spain still does not represent even 10% of turnover, and in no way compensates the prolonged drain in the physical market".

"The crude statistical reality reflects the irreparable damage being inflicted on our leisure and culture industry by piracy in all its magnitude," says Guisasola. "Before it was physical [piracy], and now it is [mainly] digital. As long as we are unable to banish this 'everything-is-free' culture, there will be no good times for the music business in Spain".

Promusicae is the Spanish affiliate of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which on Jan. 24 released figures showing that Spain is the European country worst affected by piracy.

Promusicae says only the top five selling artists of 2007 sold more than 100,000 album units - Miguel Bosé, Joan Manuel Serrat and Joaquin Sabina together, Il Divo, Fito y los Fitipaldis and La Quinta Estación. Bosé's 'Papito', still No. 1 in the charts after 44 weeks, sold 244,000 units in 2007 and is the only album to win three platinum discs (80,000 sales).

Serrat and Sabina's 'Dos Pájaros De Un Tiro' sold 158,000 units in its first month of release, Il Divo's 'Siempre' moved 142,000 units, Fito's 'Por La Boca Vive El Pez' sold 106,000 units, and Mexico-based Spanish band La Quinta Estación's 'El Mundo Se Equivoca' moved 102,000 units.

'Amor Gitano', a duet by Alejandro Fernández and Beyoncé from a Mexican TV novela, topped both digital sales lists, single-track and original tones, with impressive sales of 160,000 and 320,000 units respectively. Other big single track sellers were Rihanna (Umbrella) and Jennifer Lopez (Qué hiciste), both with some 160,000 units sold.

SonyBMG was Spain's biggest selling label in 2007, with a 31.6% market share of the CD and musical DVD market, followed by Universal (23.2%), EMI (17.9%) and Warner Dro (16.4%). The leading indie label was Blanco & Negro (3.8%), followed by Discmedi and Divucsa. All three are based in Barcelona. Digital market shares were similar - SonyBMG (35.2%), Universal (29.7%), EMI (18.9%), and Warner Dro (16%).

Spanish language CDs dominated sales. Indeed, the top selling non-Spanish album was 'Pavarotti Forever' at No. 15, while the top selling English-language CDs were 'High School Musical 2' at No. 16, and Bruce Springsteen with 'Magic' at No. 20. The top selling musical DVD was Shakira's 'Tour fijación oral' with 23,000 sales, followed by AC/DC's 'Plug Me In' with 15,200 sales, and Heroes de Silencio's 'Tour 2007' with 14,600 sales in just two weeks of release.