Spanish Market Suffers 12.6% Drop In '04

Music sales in Spain in 2004 suffered a double-digit slump for the third year in a row.

Music sales in Spain in 2004 suffered a double-digit slump for the third year in a row.

Labels body Promusicae says 2004 revenues totaled 431.4 million euros ($556.5 million), down 12.6% from the 493.8 million euros ($637 million) reported in 2003.

The volume of CDs sold fell 16.65% to 41.7 million units, while singles fell 64.8% to 1.2 million. Cassette sales slumped 66.9% to 310,000.

"We expected better results, with a change of tendency away from double-digit decreases," Promusicae president Antonio Guisasola says. "We think the recovery will now start this year, as piracy stabilizes or even goes down from its current 24% or so."

Spain was the world's ninth-biggest music market in 2003, according to the IFPI. Guisasola expects the country to maintain its top-10 slot in 2004 despite the slide in sales.

The only bright spot for the year was DVD, which climbed 122.1% to 3.3 million units.

In addition to DVD, Guisasola is optimistic about the fourth-quarter 2004 launch in Spain of legal download sites such as Telefonica telecommunications group's Musicapremium, Apple's iTunes Music Store and Microsofts's MSN Music. Guisasola reveals that Promusicae this year will publish download sales charts for the first time.

In terms of market share by labels, the landscape was barely altered from 2003. Sony BMG Spain's domination with 26.55% was up one percentage point from the companies' pre-merger 2003 shares of 13% (Sony) and 12.3% (BMG).

Warner Spain was second in 2004 with 21.55% (vs. 21.75% in 2003), followed by Universal Spain with 17.3% (14.3% in 2003, before the acquisition of indie label MuXXIc) and EMI Spain with 13% (12%).