The Catalan music industry is made up of 379 companies generating over 4,000 jobs, highlighting the strategic importance of this sector in terms of economy, innovation, and technology for the region.
Companies in Catalonia's music sector primarily focus on live music, constituting 51% of the total number of companies and contributing to 82% of the overall revenue. Within this segment, there are businesses offering services or solutions for the organization of concerts or festivals, such as lighting services, sound equipment, stage assembly services, concert and festival promoters, concert halls and musical spaces, and event production.
Out of all companies, 27% specialize in recorded music, and they contribute 10% of the revenue. This 27% includes record labels, music publishers, and their auxiliary industry, such as companies developing digital solutions for distributing musical content, monitoring rights generation, and promoting artists. Additionally, it includes companies involved in the distribution, aggregation, and curation of musical content and music recording studios.
Finally, corporate-focused companies make up 9% of the total. These are businesses that create or distribute specific musical content for other companies, such as for advertisements, corporate events, or in-store background music.
Catalonia's strong point within the music industry
In addition to boasting internationally recognized Catalan artists, technology holds a strategic importance in this sector. Currently, there are over 50 Catalan music tech companies, which are businesses developing proprietary technology for music. Examples include BMAT, specializing in AI for music monitoring (with over 200 employees), and Sonosuite, which has created software for digital content distribution.
Furthermore, Barcelona is currently the top startup hub in southern Europe and one of the leading tech hubs on the continent. This is a valuable asset for the region as it can help catalyze the potential growth of the music industry in Catalonia, positioning it as a global reference in the years to come. Currently, about 4.5% of companies in the Catalan music industry are foreign-owned.
One of the characteristics of the Catalan music industry is that this positioning coexists with the fact that Barcelona, the Catalan capital, has solidified its status in recent years as a premier location for live music festivals. Events like Cruïlla, Sònar, or Primavera Sound contribute to this reputation, and where 30% of the audience has, for some 30 years, always been international (originating from over 100 countries). More than half of the companies in the music sector in Catalonia are dedicated to live music, a crucial factor as it can serve as a bridge to translate technology emerging from the realm of knowledge into the market.
In fact, the knowledge and research ecosystem stands out as the differentiating asset of the music industry at an international level and has become the primary source for generating startups in Catalonia within this sector. Particularly notable is the Music Technology Group (MTG) at Pompeu Fabra University, considered the second most important in Europe in terms of size and research impact, with a technological focus on applying artificial intelligence to various areas of music. Other relevant centers include Eurecat, the Computer Vision Center (CVC), the Research Group on Media Technologies at La Salle, UPC, and the BSC-CNS, among others.
In the field of education, Catalonia offers a broad range of music-related studies with prominent training centers such as the Conservatori del Liceu, the Taller de Músics, the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC), or the International Music Business (IMB) School. Currently, there are nearly 500 students enrolled in master's and bachelor's programs in this sector, while almost 3,000 individuals are enrolled in bachelor's degrees and vocational training cycles.