Latin Grammys 2018

Streaming in Spain Surges to Nearly 75% of All Music Sales

Zu Sanchez/Getty Images
Madrid, Spain

Subscription income has risen 53% compared to a year ago, while download sales decreased 23%.

Music streaming in Spain has surged to almost three quarters of all music sales, according to a new report from Spanish music industry association Promusicae, which compiles Spain’s weekly music charts.     

In the first six months of 2018, streaming income rose 73.5 percent, with subscription income increasing 53 percent compared to a year ago in the same period. In contrast, overall music sales, which amounted to 107.6 million euros in the first half of 2018, incurred only a .36 percent increase.   

The news is significant in a country that suffered a historic music industry crisis that began in 2002 and hit bottom in 2014, and where getting people to pay to listen to digital music once seemed like an impossibility in a culture in which illegal file-sharing was a norm.

"One of our priorities in our sector has been to promote the attractions of paid subscriptions to the new music services and it is encouraging to see such positive results," Promusicae president Antonio Guisasola said in a statement accompanying the report. "Consumers now see paying a small monthly fee to have access to music as a something normal." Guisasola added that subscriptions are "a door to the recovery of income for the industry."

The impact of streaming can be seen on the charts in the presence of international Latin artists like J Balvin and Ozuna in the Top Ten, who have reached a popularity in Spain through streaming services and social media that was previously unattainable.

While subscriptions have risen remarkably in Spain since the beginning of this year, free ad-supported streaming has notably fallen. According to Promusicae, ad-supported streaming took in 8.4 million euros in the first half of 2018, compared to 21.8 million in the first half of 2017, a fall of almost 62 percent.

Spanish consumers were also less interested in paying to download music -- download sales decreased 23% compared to the first six months of last year.

Guisasola expressed concern about income generated by YouTube, which grew only 6.9 percent over the same period last year, to 11.5 million euros.

He stated that while YouTube represents the principal platform for music listening, "we are far from seeing an adequate remuneration," adding that Promusicae joins the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in demanding an "end to this breach of value in which the thousands of millions of video streams only amount to 15.9% of total income from streaming."