Spain Music Revenues Up 4% This Year as Streaming Thrives During Pandemic

maluma vmas
Jeff Kravitz/MTV VMAs 2020/Getty Images for MTV

Maluma attends the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards, broadcast on Aug. 30, 2020 in New York City.

Streaming revenues rose over 20% during the first six months of 2020.

Despite being one of the countries most hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis, Spain’s music industry has managed to emerge relatively victorious thanks to a healthy streaming market. According to music industry trade association Promusicae, the country saw a 3.99% increase in revenue for the first six months of 2020, reaching €145.1 million euros ($171 million), up from €139.5 million for the same time period in 2019.

The revenue gain comes thanks to an increase in streaming revenues, which rose from €101.5 million for the first six months of 2019, to €122.5 million ($145 million) in 2020, a 20.65% increase. It was enough to offset the drop in physical sales, which registered a 45% downturn in revenue due to retail closures during the pandemic.

The increase is slight, particularly considering that last year it was over 20% compared to the year before. But it’s hugely encouraging in the face of the loss of physical sales, and illustrates the consolidation of streaming in Spain.

Most indicative is the rise in audio subscriptions, which rose 17% (from €77.1 million in 2019 to €90.2 million -- $106 million -- in 2020) and now account for 70.96% of the digital market. Ad supported streaming grew by 55.7%, and now makes up 12.67% of the digital market while ad supported video streaming grew 14.97% and now makes up 12.80% of the digital market.

Those numbers, however, could dip substantially in the second semester due to loss of ad revenue. "The slight growth of our industry shouldn’t detract from the huge crisis we'll face in the second part of the year," said Promusicae president Antonio Guisasola. "Especially when it comes to the live concert sector, which will have devastating effects for artists and music creators."

It should be noted that the bright light in the precipitous physical sales drop are sales of vinyl, which dipped only 7.7%, and which now are 40% of the total physical market, almost on par with CD sales. True music lovers, it seems, are still willing to buy their product, no matter how tough the circumstances.

Promusicae also publishes Spain's weekly music charts. For the week ending Sept. 3, Maluma topped the country's Songs chart with his global hit "Hawái."