A report published by the body representing the recording industry worldwide, the IFPI, shows a significant increase in digital access to music last year. The report estimates that the Spanish music industry lost around 22% in sales last year due to illegal downloads. It places Spain at the top of the list of countries where people use unauthorized websites for obtaining music illegally (45%) followed by Brazil (44%). The European average for illegal downloading is much lower at 23%.
The report by the IFPI highlights the fact that in 2010 no Spanish artists made it into the list of the world’s bestselling artists compared to 10 in 2003. Furthermore music sales in Spain fell by 55% between 2005 and 2010 and it is estimated that music sales fell by as much as 22% last year alone.
The report also states that the sales of albums in Spain have fallen dramatically over the last 5 years with weekly sales (shops and digital downloads) dropping by almost two thirds from 26,000 in 2004 to just 7000 in 2010.
On the other hand, money made from digital downloads rose by 6% throughout the world last year which represents 29% of the profits made by the music industry in 2010 (4,600 million euros).
At the presentation of its annual report in London the IFPI criticised the Spanish government for being very slow in introducing legislation aimed at reducing the number of pirate websites offering illegal downloads. A representative from the IFPI said that the proposed ‘Sinde’ law in Spain would not reduce the illegal consumption of music but would only limit downloading from illegal websites which in turn would lead people to look for alternatives such as programmes where people exchange music for free.