Promusicae, the Spanish music industry association announced the first increase in music sales in Spain in 13 years. Physical and digital music sales increased 6.2% which represented EUR 58.08 million for H1 2014 compared to EUR 54.68 million for H1 2013.
Promusicae reported that physical formats (CDs, vinyl, and some DVD) had a 6.5% increase in sales representing EUR 32.1 million compared with 2013 sales of EUR 30.1 million. All digital platforms (streaming, digital downloads, and ringtones) grew from EUR 25.9 million in H1 2014 compared to EUR 24.5 million in the previous year, a year-on-year growth of 5.5%. Digital growth was fueled by streaming which had an increase of 14%, to reach EUR 18.9 million in H1 2014 up from EUR 16.5 million in the first half of last year. By contrast full track downloads of songs, albums, and videos through retailers like iTunes decreased by 9% and accounted for EUR 6.3 million. Mobile products like ringtones decreased by 20% and accounted for only EUR 729,000 for H1 2014.
The recovery of the Spanish music market in H1 2014 comes against a background of slow economic growth (year-on-year GDP growth has not exceeded 3.3% since 2012). Nevertheless it seems likely that the improving health of the macro economy is likely to have had some benefit for the Spanish music market, particularly physical sales.
Tellingly despite this physical growth Spain’s digital market is seeing a decline in download sales as, like many other regions, the market is transitioning away from purchasing digital music towards models where consumers access, but do not own music. These models are often run on a freemium basis (like Spotify) or include a bundled offer (Vodafone Spain and Napster) which hides the cost of music within a broader music subscription. As a result access modes are particularly well suited to markets like Spain where consumers have a relatively low willingness to pay directly for music.