Spain continues to be the only territory in the world's Top 10 music markets that is also in the Top 10 of major music piracy offenders - and things are getting worse, not better. This is the conclusion of labels' body Promusicae, following today's (May 28) publication of the report "Recording Industry in Numbers: 2009," by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

Based on figures available up to April 30, 2009 the report reveals that 81% of Spanish Internet users under 24 download copyrighted content via P2P files.

While physical music sales dropped by more than 30% in the first four months of 2009 compared to the same period last year, digital sales in Spain remain "ridiculous," says Spain's IFPI affiliate. Promusicae says the year-on-year physical fall for April is even steeper at 50%, based on preliminary estimates.

Only 11% of Spanish music sales correspond to Internet or mobile phone downloads, compared to the international average of 21%. Promusicae says "this means the percentage of digital sales in Spain is still ridiculous" compared to other European countries.

In a statement, Promusicae says the IFPI report stresses that Spain does not occupy, internationally, the privileged place that corresponds to its top 10 placing "because the level of piracy is among the highest in the western world." Spain is the ninth biggest international market, and for many years in the late '90s and at the beginning of this decade, it held the eighth spot. The 85-member Promusicae says the situation is getting worse.

IFPI notes that Spanish retail CD and legal download music sales in 2008 were €225.2 million ($313.8 million), a drop of 7.8% compared to 2007. This made 2008 the seventh year in a row with falling sales, with a combined 56% fall compared to 2001.

Promusicae notes that a lack of a big-selling albums this year - unlike the first four months of 2008 when El Canto del Loco's "Personas" (Sony Music) dominated the charts - is partly to blame for the growing crisis.

But it also adds that physical piracy, with sales from pavements or bars, "maintains a certain implantation in Spain," whereas in many other countries it has been challenged. The IFPI report says "10% of the population over 16 has bought these [pirated] records at some point."