Culture helped households in the pandemic and no one helped culture

The Ministry of Culture has just released the most anticipated report: the disaster yearbook. The photo that he throws on what has been suffered by the cultural sector in 2020 is less accommodating. Culture contributed to homes, but households did not spend on culture. Never before was less culture consumed than during the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The average of € 223 per person was barely exceeded in all of 2020, a cut of 16.2% and the worst figure since 2007. That year, Spaniards spent an average of € 375 per year on cultural goods and services. In 2020, total spending stood at 10.5 million euros (15.8% less than 2019).

The health crisis destroyed nearly 85,000 cultural jobs

The health crisis destroyed about 85,000 cultural jobs

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The largest figure is found among the audience of popular music concerts (including macro concerts), which went from 28,274 in 2019 (the best figure of the decade) to 5,938, a drop of 79%. Spaniards spent three euros less on buying books, 32 euros less on shows and three euros less on museums. The only item in which they put more money was in radio and television fees and subscriptions with one euro more.

The worst hit sectors last year were cinema, theater and concerts: they barely accounted for 4.7% of total cultural spending, when in 2019 they had reached 16%. In fact, the most dramatic graph of all is the deadly drop in the number of spectators in the theater. In 2020 there were just 27 million, a decrease of 74.3%. Total collection was 161 million euros, a loss of 73.8%. 8% fewer films were shown, 33% fewer films were released and 16.2% fewer feature films were produced.

To understand the critical moment that movie theaters went through last year, we have to compare 2014, the best year at movie theater box offices, when 518.2 million euros were collected and 88 million viewers passed through theaters. It is significant that between 2014 and 2020 the number of rooms is the same: 3,700. Perhaps it is also striking that the number of films shown was higher in 2020 (1,686) than in 2014 (1,590).

With 60 million fewer viewers, it is striking that the number of films shown was higher in 2020 (1,686) than in 2014 (1,590)

The book, although it has grown in percentage of cultural spending per household, has lost in figures like the rest of the sectors. The expenditure that best resisted the fall in income in Spanish households during the year of the economic crisis caused by the health crisis was on “mobile telephony and internet-related services.”

In 2020, the only Spanish cultural industries that managed to grow their business abroad were those dedicated to audiovisuals, which grew by 6.7% thanks to the product dominance placed outside the video game. Especially in France. On the contrary, the book has been the industry that has suffered the most in this chapter, with a drop of 22.5%.

The direct consequence of the drop in cultural ands the loss of employment in the sector. In 2020 the volume amounted to 668,100 people (3.5% of total employment in Spain). The number of workers represents an interannual decrease of 5.9% compared to 2019 (710,000). On the other hand, the majority of cultural companies (67.6%) do not have employees, 26.1% are small (from one to five workers), 5.7% have from six to 49 employees and the The remaining 0.5% are companies with 50 employees onwards. In other words, a very vulnerable business fabric.

“The statistics estimate that, throughout 2020, a period immersed in the COVID-19 crisis, the provisional closure of museum institutions has meant an average of 119 days of provisional closure per institution. The 1,510 investigated museum institutions received 20.4 million visitors in 2020, a figure that represents a decrease of 68.9% compared to 2018, “the report explains. In addition, the average number of visits per open museum in 2020 was 13,817, compared to 45,929 registered in 2018.

Finally, the intellectual property rights management entities in 2020 collected 363.8 million euros, which represents a decrease of 17.1% compared to the previous year. Despite the cut in income, the amount distributed by rights was similar to that of 2019, 347.7 million euros. The SGAE was the entity that collected the most, with 205,613 euros, followed by Dama (26,303, the only one that grows), Cedro (19,126 euros), Vegap (6,770).


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