There were celebrations when recorded-music sales in Italy rose 25.5% in 2015, but since then the market has struggled to repeat the euphoria.

That’s according to Music Ally’s latest country profile, which is available to download today for subscribers to our research service.

In 2016, recorded-music income grew by just 0.4% to €149m ($178.5m) in Italy, while in the first six months of 2017, sales actually dropped by 8% year-on-year.

Industry body FIMI’s CEO Enzo Mazza told us that the reasons for this decline include a poor release schedule for local repertoire, which still takes the biggest market share in Italy. Streaming, too, is a more muted success in Italy than in some other western markets.

While revenue from video streaming grew 12% year-on-year in the first half of 2017 (to €5.4m), income from subscription audio streaming rose just 1% to €16.8m, while ad-supported music streaming revenue was up 4% to €4.6m.

Mazza suggested that Italy has been disproportionately affected by new terms agreed between labels and Spotify earlier this year, due to the high number of free Spotify users in Italy. There are high hopes for the impact of Amazon Music Unlimited though: it launched in Italy last month.

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