Culture sector in Spain not yet recovered after Covid pandemic

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culture sector

MADRID – Spanish cinemas and theatres are still not receiving the number of visitors before the Covid pandemic. In the culture sector, only concerts managed to surpass the pre-2020 figures.

This is evident from the annual survey by the Spanish Association of Authors and Writers (SGAE). They also report that the 10% growth in concert visitors is mainly at festivals.

Despite the fact the figures are still not at pre-pandemic levels, the cultural sector grew compared to 2022. Although live shows attracted no less than 89% more visitors in 2022 than in 2021, the figures for classical music, performing arts and cinema are also declining. This decrease was no less than 40% compared to 2019.

Performing arts

Performing arts did experience some recovery in 2022, with the number of performances and attendance increasing by 18.7% and 29.8% respectively. Gross revenues also increased by 37.9%. However, these figures remained lower than in 2019. The number of shows compared to before the pandemic has decreased by 14.6%. Also, the number of spectators and gross revenues have decreased by 47.4% and 38.3% respectively.

Rubén Gutiérrez, president of the SGAE, explains that in both the performing arts and classical music, an increase in the number of performances comes before an increase in the number of visitors and gross income. He also states that the government needs to encourage the public to visit these performances.

More audiences to live concerts

This phenomenon did not occur with live concerts of popular music, which saw a 51.4% increase in the number of concerts. That’s a total of almost 98,000 concerts. These concerts attracted no less than twice the number of visitors and also raised three times as much money as before.

Compared to pre-pandemic figures, there has also been an increase in the number of concerts (7.5%) and gross income (10%). The number of visitors had decreased by 11.8%. Gutiérrez states that the fact that there are more major music festivals as an alternative to standard concerts explains this decline.

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Positive development for the Spanish music market

The Spanish music market has experienced a positive development in 2022. This is evident from a study by Promusicae, the Spanish association for music producers. The total income of this industry is €461.99 million, 12.4% more than the previous year. The vast majority of this comes from streaming, which generated €340.33 million. More than half of the Spanish population uses music streaming services.

It is striking that in terms of physical music sales, the number of LPs sold has again increased. According to Gutiérrez, this increase proves that this is not a residual market.

Cinema attendance is still far from pre-pandemic levels

When it comes to moviegoing, the same phenomenon can be seen as with concerts and performing arts; figures that are better than 2021, but still nowhere near pre-pandemic levels. There are 35.5% more performances, 44.2% more visitors and 47.9% more gross income compared to 2021. But if these figures are compared with 2019, it can be seen that there are 16.4% fewer performances, 43.3% fewer visitors and 40.2% less gross income. In 2022, the average number of cinema tickets sold was 1.24, with each Spaniard spending an average of €7.70 per person.


Spaniards watch less television on average. They will watch 183 minutes less television per person and per day in 2022. Compared to the year before, that decrease was only 22 minutes. However, more radio is being listened to, 2 minutes more compared to 2021. The number of households that have subscribed to paid television has also increased to 68.7% of the total.

Growth for video game sector

The newest form of media, the video game sector, has earned a whopping €2 billion. This is an increase of 12.1% compared to 2012. This sector is in good condition, both physically and digitally.

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