The music industry consists of 379 companies in Catalonia, together generating €854 million in annual turnover and 4,088 jobs. This is the main conclusion of the first study that X-rayed the entire sector and prepared by Acció and the Barcelona Music Lab Foundation. The report reveals that half of the companies are dedicated to live music and 27% to recordings. In addition, it indicates that 55% of the total is based in Barcelona. According to data from the study, concert promoters charge more than twice as much as venues, despite employing nearly half as many permanent workers. Business Secretary Albert Castellanos explained to ACN that the report reveals the “potential” of the sector.
Castellanos, who is also CEO of Acció, believes that music is not only a “cultural uniqueness factor”, but the study presented on Friday, also shows the “economic dimension”, because it represents, according to him, 10% of the total GDP. Rotation of the audiovisual sector. In addition, he highlighted the “ability to innovate and introduce new technologies” in the sector. He added that Catalonia is actually “the first startup hub in southern Europe,” which also represents an opportunity.
In turn, Barcelona Music Director, Miquel Coranta, confirmed to ACN that one of the reasons that explains the fact that most companies are based in Barcelona is the “concentration” of live performances in the city. According to him, Catalonia generates about 100 million euros in ticket sales, and “more than half” of it is in the country's capital. In fact, festivals like Primavera Sound, Sónar or Cruïlla are also examples that understand the importance of live music compared to recorded music in the country.
Promoters get 40% of the live music pie
Of the 379 companies, 194 focus on live music and generate sales of €697.8 million, 82% of the total. Nearly half of these initiatives (85) are dedicated to the ancillary industry of live performances, while a quarter (46) are concert and festival promoters. There are 39 concert halls, 21 event production companies and 3 ticketing companies.
In terms of turnover in this business, promoters generate €331.7 million annually, i.e. 39% of the live music sector pie. This is a figure higher than that of concert halls, at less than half, 158.4 million euros, as well as the ancillary industry (99.2 million) or event producers (85.2 million).
The total number of live performances is 2,973 people, a third of whom are 1,086 working in the concert halls. That's nearly double the number of promotional workers, 604 workers, who nonetheless achieve twice the turnover rate as local residents.
The recorded music sector employs 722 workers, a quarter of whom work in recording companies
In contrast, the recorded music sector includes 103 companies and 722 workers, while their invoices amount to 90.9 million euros. This category includes 38 recording companies generating €24 million and employing 174 people, the ancillary industry with €48.7 million, distributors, aggregators and content curators (12.4 million), and music recording studios (5.8 million).
The rest of the music industry in Catalonia is divided between the corporate sector, with a turnover of 33 million 35 companies like Canada, and the transverse sector, with 32.4 million 47 companies, departments or machines, among others. Data for the entire Catalan music ecosystem does not include freelancers or companies associated with artists, and figures are from 2022 or the latest available.
The study also reveals that half of employment in the music sector is concentrated in 27 companies out of 379, and that 4.5% of companies in this sector in Catalonia are foreign companies. In addition, among the total initiatives, there are 29 startups and 53 companies specializing in technological solutions for music, or so-called “music technology”.
90% of music R&D and innovation is done through artificial intelligence
New technologies are also prominent in the music industry's research ecosystem, as 90% of R&D and innovation goes through either AI or other technologies that require it. There are eight clusters, among which Castellanos highlighted UPF's Music Technology cluster, “one of the standards in all of Europe.” Large multinational companies such as Apple, Amazon Science, Microsoft and Dolby Research also have a presence in this regard in Catalonia.
Among the topics promoted by research groups in this regard are automatic interpretation and reproduction of song lyrics, automatic generation of images and animations related to songs, mixing sounds to create new sounds, and audio and sound synthesis. Reproduction, or separation of audio backgrounds in an audio recording. In addition, creating group and live videos or setting dynamic prices are other areas of research for Catalan R&D and innovation companies.
In the field of training, the study collected 492 students in masters and degrees during the academic year 2022-2023, while 2,980 students were enrolled in degrees and training courses related to the field of music in the academic year 2020-2021. This, for Castellanos, shows that Catalonia has “an amazing ability.” growth and competitive advantage.”
Tools to collect consumption data or to manage waiting lists, are among the business opportunities
The study also identifies new business opportunities for Catalan companies. In the case of recorded music, for example, he points to opportunities such as the development of such digital platforms that facilitate the connection between musical groups and their followers, technological solutions to facilitate the creative and music production processes of artists, monitor the use and reproduction of songs in any medium or to attract new musical interests of consumers. “Monitoring and management of intellectual property rights” and “data collection” tools for consumption are some examples given by Mikkel Koranta.
Regarding live music, he identifies opportunities such as developing technology solutions that monitor audience interests and can create personalized events based on their profiles and local markets or immersive tools that offer different experiences for concertgoers. Kuranta points out that “sustainability operations at major events,” “rapid payment systems,” or “queue management” are some opportunities.
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