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Spain Reports Fourth Consecutive Year of Music Industry Gains With Streaming Up 25 Percent

Spain Reports Fourth Consecutive Year of Music Industry Gains With Streaming Up 25 Percent

“Despacito,” Pablo Alboran, Ed Sheerhan topped Spain’s year-end sales and streaming charts.

Streaming in Spain was up 25 percent in 2017, leading gains in the fourth consecutive year of music industry growth in the country.

According to a report by industry association Promusicae out today (Jan. 22), streaming services topped a million and a half premium subscribers in 2017; a million subscribers were reported the previous year. The number of streams of the top 200 songs surpassed 3.5 million, 25 percent more than in 2016.

The significant gain marked the continuation of a turnaround for the music industry in the country, which tanked to its lowest numbers in 2013, after enduring a decade-long slump in sales. The current positive story for streaming continues to be news in a country where illegally downloading tracks had been the norm since the dawn of digital music.

Promusicae credited a “concentration of important releases in the last trimester and a good showing by physical releases” in addition to the growth in streaming, for Spain’s 2017 numbers.

Spanish pop singer Pablo Alboran’s Prometo was the year’s biggest-selling album, and the only one to surpass 100,000 copies sold. That achievement was more significant given that the album was released in November and that the total reflects only a month and a half of sales.

Only two albums in English, Ed Sheeran’s Divide (no. 7) and the La La Land soundtrack (no. 9) broke the top 20. The other 18 slots on 2017’s best-selling albums list are occupied by Spanish artists. They include Joaquin Sabina, in second place, El Barrio, Alejandro Sanz, Vanesa Martin and Melendi. While pop artists dominated the chart, rock group Vetusta Morla snagged the no. 12 spot only twelve weeks after the release of the group’s new album, Mismo Sitio, Distinto Lugar. The industry report noted that the “sweeping majority” of local or Spanish-speaking artists at the top of the charts has been a constant in the Spanish recording market for more than two decades.

Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” topped the year-end digital songs chart (combining streaming and downloads), followed by Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” But Sheeren’s hit outperformed “Despacito” on Spain’s 2017 radio chart. Sheeren also was victorious on the streaming albums list, where his album Divide was no. 1.

For the first time in 2017, Promusicae tracked full album streams in Spain, an initiative which also brought honors to emerging artists including Taburete, Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Ozuna, and Barcelona band Txarango. That list reflected the impact of the “diversity of commercial offers” available from streaming services, including family plans and student discounts.

Today’s report reflected Promusicae’s initial findings on the year’s activity, which the organization says will soon be followed by more complete numbers from sales, streaming and radio in Spain for 2017. 

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