The Spanish government has revealed its latest effort to help the creative and cultural industries bounce back from Covid-19: the Youth Cultural Bonus. The scheme will see Spanish young people given €400 of vouchers to spend on the arts if they turn 18 in 2022.
The specifics: they can spend up to €200 on live events or activities: concerts, festivals, cinema tickets, museums, literary festivals etc. Then they can spend up to €100 on physical products: vinyl, CDs and musical scores but also books, games, magazines and newspapers; and up to €100 on digital products and services, including music streaming subscriptions as well as downloads and subscriptions for audiobooks, ebooks, games etc.
How big an impact could all this have on the music industry? Well, according to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística government agency (the The National Statistics Institute) there were just under 423,000 Spanish 18 year-olds at the start of 2021, which offers at least a ballpark figure we may be talking about for those turning 18 this year.
Streaming music consumption in Spain already grew by 23% in 2021 according to industry body Promusicae, with premium subscriptions accounting for 54% of that consumption. In our latest country profile of Spain, published in February, Promusicae president Antonio Guisasola estimated that there were more than four million people subscribing to music streaming services in Spain.
The new Youth Cultural Bonus could give those figures another bump – not to mention live events and vinyl sales. Music and creative/cultural industry bodies elsewhere in the world will be watching closely, and potentially lobbying for similar measures in their own territories.