Spanish music shipments slumped 15.3% in retail value last year at €345 million ($445 million), compared to €407 million ($525 million) in 2005, labels' body Promusicae said today (Jan. 17). It was the 6th consecutive annual fall in sales, during which the Spanish music market has crashed 50%.

For the first time, Promusicae has published digital sales figures. The data shows that Spain lags far behind other major markets, despite being the world's 10th biggest market, according to the annual IFPI report released today.

At €22 million ($28.4 million), legal digital sales are three times higher than in 2005, but represent just 6% of the total market, says Promusicae president Antonio Guisasola. He adds the situation is worse than it looks - "about 95% of all digital sales are by mobile telephone, with nearly all Internet downloads being illegal".

Guisasola adds "our country is considerably behind in the development of legal digital music sales". Promusicae plans to start publishing a weekly digital sales chart "in the next few weeks".

Overall singles shipments fell by 50% last year, according to the trade body.

A unit breakdown of 2006 sales will be released next week, with label-by-label details. EMI Spain president Manolo Díaz has already stated that the major's market share rose to 17.8% last year, compared to 14.6% in 2005. He says EMI Spain was the only major to increase market share last year. EMI Spain released Spain's top-selling music DVD, Pink Floyd's "P.u.l.s.e," which Promusicae said moved 25,000 units.

"The balance for 2006 is bad and very worrying," says Guisasola. "The Spanish music scene is going through a very delicate moment. We hope that this cancer -- which preaches that music is free and its systematic theft is legal -- ends soon".

Promusicae says the top-selling album in Spain last year was "Guapa" (Sony BMG) by La Oreja de Van Gogh, adding that it was the only CD to break the half-million sales mark. David Bisbal's "Premonición" (Universal/Vale Music) sold just over 400,000 units, while the third best-selling album, Alejandro Sanz's "El Tren De Los Momentos" (Warner) had moved some 330,000 units in roughly two months.

The top-selling non-Spanish-artist was Mexican group Maná, whose album "Amar Es Combatir" (Warner) was the 5th best-selling, while the highest-ranking album in English was "Oral Fixation Vol. 2" (Sony BMG) by Colombian Shakira. The highest-placed non-Hispanic artist was Madonna, whose "Confessions On a Dancefloor" (Warner) was at No. 20.