Spain's Recorded Business Rises for the First Time in 13 Years

David Needleman
Enrique Iglesias photographed by David Needleman for Billboard

Streaming surge and releases by Enrique Iglesias, Pharell and others spark gains in the first half of 2014.

Music revenue in Spain rose in the first half of 2014, combating a drop in sales of over 80% over the past 13 years. According to a report out today (July 16) by Spanish music industry association Promusicae, revenue from physical and digital formats rose by 58.08 million euros, a 6.2% increase compared to the same period in 2013.
The report cites a wave of popular releases by Michael Jackson, Coldplay, Enrique Iglesias, Spanish pop star David Bisbal, Pharrell Williams, Romeo Santos, and David Burell (winner of Spain’s “La Voz”) as major contributors to the modest rise in sales.
The gains in revenue were also due to the growing popularity of streaming services in Spain, a country plagued by piracy, where paying for digital music has been slow to take hold.
Promusicae president Antonio Guisasola said he is “cautious but moderately satisfied with these results that, for the first time in a very long time, give certain cause for hope.”
The report found that monthly subscription and ad-supported streaming saw similar gains in the first six months of 2014. Streaming represented 18.9 million euros, 14% higher than over the same period in 2013.


Currently, the No. 1 streaming track in Spain is Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando,” featuring Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona, which has exceeded one million plays a week for the last several weeks.
The 2014 figures also showed a rise in physical sales. CDs and other physical formats, mainly vinyl and DVD, represented 32.1 million euros, a 6.5% increase over 2013’s 30.1 million.
“The boom of streaming partially offsets a worse performance of other modalities that seem to lose fuel,” the report said. Mobile related products such as ring tones) decreased by 20%, accounting for 729,000 euros. Downloads of digital songs, albums and videos (through services such as iTunes, for instance) also dropped 9%, to 6.3 million euros.
“The [Spanish music industry] is working in the right direction . . . in terms of a higher diversification and specialization of products, adequate to different customers’ profiles,” Guisasola said. “We can only hope for the persistence of this upward market trend in the second half of 2014".
Still, Guisasola cautioned that piracy “keeps being a regular, massive, treacherous and unpunished plundering of the work of thousands of musicians, performing artists and composers in Spain. “
He called for Spanish authorities to pass a new Intellectual Property Law in the wake of the good news about music revenues.


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