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Publication

Market Report: Spain

The annual guide to the global live entertainment ticketing business
Click the interactive map below to explore the top 40 global markets

Spain is a powerhouse for live entertainment and is a key market for the huge influx of Latin, trap, and urban music stars from the US, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Chile. Precise figures and data are somewhat hard to come by, but most estimates put the current value of the live music market at approximately
€500m; business is back to normal post-Covid.

“The live music industry in Spain has resumed the path of uninterrupted growth that it had established before the pandemic,” says Olivier Geynet, director of music partnerships (Spain) at DICE. “In 2022, Spain once again set an all-time record for ticket sales.”

“The live music industry in Spain has resumed the path of uninterrupted growth that it had established before the pandemic.”

Primary ticketing

The ticketing landscape in Spain is somewhat fractured between long-established incumbents and a raft of newcomers. The leading ticket companies by billing volume are Ticketmaster, El Corte Inglés – the famous grand chain of upmarket department stores – and See Tickets. Entradas.com, which was acquired by Eventim in 2014, is also a major player, and Enterticket and Entradas a tu Alcance remain significant.

DICE is the exclusive ticketing partner to festivals Primavera Sound and Sónar/OFFSónar and has grown its presence in Ibiza. When it comes to the electronic scene, the market is shared between Xceed, Resident Advisor, and several newer companies – such as Wegow, OneBox, and Tomaticket – which offer a range of digital platforms for promoters.

Distribution of sales

In Spain, digital ticketing still coexists with print – the enduring popularity of El Corte Inglés as a purchase point has helped prolong the latter’s life, especially with regard to older fans. But the shift is becoming pronounced and inescapable. “Digital tickets are at 80% across all events,” says Ana Valdovinos Valentin, general manager of Ticketmaster Spain. “And Beyoncé’s Barcelona stadium date was mobile-only – no paper tickets at all.”

“A digital PDF is the most popular way to get tickets for people aged 18 to 45.”

“Digital ticketing has witnessed an exponential rise in popularity – nowadays, the vast majority of ticket purchases are made online,” adds Mattia Franco, co-founder and CEO of Xceed. Yet much of this remains a PDF, as opposed to an e-ticket. “A digital PDF is the most popular way to get tickets for people aged 18 to 45,” says Jorge Iglesias, CEO of Berin Iglesias Art.

Secondary ticketing

In such a major market, scalping and ticket resale are prevalent. “It is very popular, especially in the offline market,” says Xavi Bartrolí Sangüesa, CEO and co-founder of Baila.fm. “My guess is that the secondary market is roughly 10% of the ticketing industry.” Viagogo and TicketSwap are active here, but there are other secondary marketplaces, such as Milanuncios or Wallapop.

Many companies are trying to combat some of the more egregious examples of profiteering, such as TicketSwap, which limits resale mark-ups to 20% above face value. “Spain currently is our fastest-growing new market. We have been seeing great traction, especially in Ibiza, where we’re partnered with major clubs Pacha and Eden. TicketSwap is the go-to app for party hoppers on the island,” says a spokesperson. DICE operates a closed ticketing system, meaning tickets are locked to smartphones to help prevent ticket touting, while Xceed “offer last-minute QR codes that are non-transferable, ensuring that tickets cannot be resold on a large scale,” says Franco.

“Spain currently is our fastest-growing new market. We have been seeing great traction, especially in Ibiza, where we’re partnered with major clubs Pacha and Eden.

International/domestic splits & genres

Spaniards have broad music tastes. Electronic and urban are huge, but so are Spanish pop and flamenco. Pop and rock are a massive draw, especially for arena and stadium shows, yet so are the aforementioned Latin and trap stars, and techno has witnessed an enormous surge in its audience. The split is around 30% international vs. 70% domestic.

Cultural analysis

Festivals remain a massive driver in terms of live music, especially in summer, but the focus has shifted towards enhancing the fan experience. “Recent trends in music consumption and consumer behaviour indicate a growing demand for memorable experiences,” says Franco. “Daytime events are gaining popularity over night-time shows, while boutique festivals are preferred over larger massified ones. And local music scenes are thriving, thanks to the influence of Gen Z and social media.”

Beyond that, the newly refurbished Estadio Santiago Bernabéu gives top-tier artists a new Spanish venue to consider – this year, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, and Beyoncé all only played Barcelona’s Camp Nou.

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