Grim News For Spanish Biz

Market grapples with severe piracy.

The value of music sales in Spain dropped 12.6% in 2004, according to preliminary data from trade group Promusicae.

Speaking yesterday (Jan. 24) in Madrid, Promusicae president Antonio Guisasola gave a grim assessment of the industry’s situation. He said the Spanish music industry employed 52,000 people at the beginning of 2004, 20% less than in 2000.

Spain has been badly hit by physical CD piracy. Guisasola said there are 9,000 vendors openly selling pirated CDs every day on the country’s streets, and 25% of all CDs sold in Spain last year were illegal.

Teddy Bautista, president of authors' body SGAE, who took part in the presentation, added that piracy contributed to a 37% decline in royalties for authors between 2000-2003. The Spanish government is scheduled to present the first country’s national anti-piracy plan in March.