COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Overall cultural spending by households between 2006 and 2013 decreased by 21% in nominal terms.

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Spain/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation  

8.2.1 Trends and figures

Figures on cultural consumption are taken from the Household Budget Survey, 2006 Basis (Census 2011), which is carried out by the National Statistics Institute. Figures on participation are from the Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices in Spain, which is undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

Cultural consumption

In 2013, Spanish households spent EUR 12 261.7 million on cultural goods and services, which represents a decrease of 8.3% over the previous year, and 2.5% of their total expenditure on goods and services. This figure has decreased significantly since 2006, when it amounted to EUR 15 545.9 million and its share in total spending was 3.2%. Overall cultural spending between 2006 and 2013 has decreased by 21%, in nominal terms. Cultural spending amounted to EUR 265.7 per capita in 2013, which is a decrease of around 8% over the previous year. By categories, home-based activities dominated cultural spending, especially home entertainment (EUR 146.4 per capita) and reading (EUR 42.1), which together accounted for 71% of cultural spending. In the home entertainment category, Internet related services (EUR 61.7 per capita) ranked highest, followed by expenditure on computers (EUR 26.5), the rental of cable and satellite services (EUR 25.4), and TV and video equipment (EUR 20.6). Other cultural spending categories include attendance at cultural events such as cinema, theatre, opera, dance, and so on, which accounted for 12.6% (EUR 33.4) of cultural spending.

Between 2006 and 2013, spending related to communication goods and services made significant gains in the total spending on culture. Categories showing an upward trend are Internet connection fees (from 9.9% in 2006 to 23.2% in 2013), and the rental of cable and satellite services (from 7.3% in 2006 to 9.5% in 2013). On the contrary, "core" cultural activities experienced a slight decrease over the 2006-2013 period – e.g. spending on the press (down from 13% in 2006 to 8.7% in 2013), as well as books (down from 8.5% in 2006 to 7.1%). Attendance at museums, libraries and parks (from 0.9% to 1%) and at performing art events (from 11.1% to 11.6%) remains more or less stable over the period.

The analysis of the evolution of the total and per capita spending on culture between 2008 and 2013 shows clearly the negative impact of the economic crisis. Both magnitudes have decreased around 28% during those years.

Table 6:     Household and per capita expenditure for private cultural participation and consumption, by domains, 2006 and 2013

Items (Field / Domain)

Household expenditure
(in million EUR and percentages)

Average per capita expenditure (EUR)

 

2006

%

2013

%

2006

2013

I. Books and Press

3 326.2

21.4

1 941.0

15.8

75.6

42.1

Books (textbooks not included)

1 324.0

8.5

874.9

7.1

30.1

19.0

Press

2 002.2

12.9

1 066.1

8.7

45.5

23.1

II. Cultural Services

4 590.1

29.5

4 117.8

33.6

104.3

89.2

Cinema, theatre and others

1 731.5

11.1

1 416.5

11.6

39.3

30.7

Museums, libraries, parks and similar

145.4

0.9

126.8

1.0

3.3

2.7

Rental and subscriptions of radio and television

1 316.5

8.5

1 204.8

9.8

29.9

26.1

Subscriptions of radio and television

1 133.4

7.3

1 169.8

9.5

25.7

25.4

Rental of radio and television

183.2

1.2

35.0

0.3

4.2

0.8

Other cultural services

1 396.7

9.0

1 369.7

11.2

31.7

29.7

III. Audiovisual and Information Processing Equipment and accessories and Internet

5 845.0

37.6

5 380.7

43.9

132.8

116.6

Image, sound and television equipment

1 754.5

11.3

1 063.9

8.7

39.9

23.1

Sound equipment

273.2

1.8

112.5

0.9

6.2

2.4

Television and video

1 481.4

9.5

951.4

7.8

33.6

20.6

Audiovisual, Photographic and Optical Equipment

623.7

4.0

245.2

2.0

14.2

5.3

Information Processing and Internet

3 466.8

22.3

4 071.6

33.2

78.7

88.2

Material for information processing

1 932.9

12.4

1 222.2

10.0

43.9

26.5

Internet services

1 534.0

9.9

2 849.4

23.2

34.8

61.7

IV. Other goods and services

1 784.6

11.5

822.2

6.7

40.5

17.8

Support for recording audio, video and data

1 169.6

7.5

415.2

3.4

26.6

9.0

Musical instruments and others

151.8

1.0

153.1

1.2

3.4

3.3

Reparations

463.2

3.0

253.9

2.1

10.5

5.5

TOTAL

15 545.9

100.0

12 261.7

100.0

353.2

265.7

Source:     National Statistics Institute (several years) Household Budget Survey, 2006 Basis (Census 2011).

Participation rates

According to the Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices in Spain – which involves 16 000 interviews with adults aged 15 or over – by far the biggest audiences for cultural content are television viewers (approximately 98% in all periods considered in Table 7: 1990, 1997-1998, 2002-2003, 2006-2007 and 2010-2011), followed by newspaper readers (71.5% in the last period, 2010-2011) and radio listeners (63.7% in the last period, 2010-2011). More than a half of Spaniards surveyed in 2002-2003 and 2006-2007 reported going to the cinema in the last year, although this percentage decreased slightly in the last period (49.1%). Cultural activities ranked lower in overall participation rates include: attendance at dance, opera and lyrical opera (zarzuela), which remain among the interests of a minority. In 2010-2011, only 6.1% of the population indicated that they attended a dance performance at least once a year; 2.6% went to the opera and 1.6% to a zarzuela performance.

Broadly speaking, given the difficulty in comparing the various surveys, certain trends can be discerned between 1990 and 2010-2011:

  • Attendance at performing arts events (dance, opera, classical music, and theatre) remains a minority interest. The biggest audiences for this type of events are still concentrated in theatre events, which in the last two periods stood at around 19% of respondents (5 percentage points more than in 1990). The figure for dance is the only one that shows a continuous positive evolution throughout the whole period 1990-2011 (whereas in 1990 1.7% of the population went to dance events, this figure has risen to 6.1% in the last period 2010-2011). Finally, data on the share of visitors to opera and classical music performances show some growth over the last twenty years (1.4% in 1990 and 2.6% in 2010-2011; 6.8% in 1990 and 7.7% in 2010-2011 respectively).
  • Cinema attendance, which entered a new phase of growth at the end of the 1990s, has experienced a decline since the second half of the 2000s that ends in the last period (2010-2011) with 61% of the population reporting never going to the cinema. According to 2011 figures, Spanish films were seen by 15.8% of cinemagoers and US films, by 69% (data from 1st January to 31st December 2011). While the market quota for Spanish cinema has remained more or less stable around 12%-13% since 2002, but with an important increase throughout 2011 (more as a result of the films released in that year than as a result of a trend of appreciation of Spanish films), the market share of US films has experienced a growth of almost 3 percentage points over the same period.
  • Library visits have grown spectacularly. The proportion of people who have visited a library at least once in the past 12 months rose from 11.2% in 1990 to 20.5% in the last period 2010-2011. Readership figures also show a slight upward trend. In spite of greater accessibility to books and improvements in education, in 2010-2011 over 48% of Spaniards stated that they had not read a book in the preceding 12 months. In spite of possibilities for improvement, these results show the positive action of the campaigns to encourage reading carried out by different levels of government.
  • Visits to major national galleries and museums have experienced a moderate growth in the last two periods, in which at around 31% of the total population had visited a museum or national gallery.
  • Finally, the activities with a greater growth throughout the period are the proportion of people with access to a personal computer (from 28.3% in 2002-2003 to 55.3% in 2010-2011) and the Internet (from 19.6% to 53.6%). Moreover, the latest survey results confirm the use of new technologies as a means of disseminating culture. Thus, 22.8% of the population listened to music on the computer, 55.2% had a mobile phone equipped with a music player (compared to 28.9% in the previous survey), or 25.2% of the population used a computer, or other device connected to it, to watch videos.

Table 7:     People who in the last year made or attended certain cultural activities in Spain, in % of total population, 1990-2011

Field

1990

1997-1998

2002-2003

2006-2007

2010-2011

Activities heavily subsidised by the state

Theatre

13.9

18.4

23.4

19.1

19.0

Opera performances

1.4

1.8

3.0

2.7

2.6

Zarzuela

2.7

2.2

2.6

1.9

1.6

Dance

1.7

2.0

4.6

5.1

6.1

Concerts of classic music

6.8

6.8

8.4

8.4

7.7

Libraries

11.2

12.0

20.0

17.6

20.5

Museums

27.8

29.3

27.5

31.2

30.6

Monuments

35.6

37.1

28.8

34.1

39.5

Cultural centres

12.4

10.0

14.1

22.9

19.2

Activities without large public subsidies

Cinema

39.0

46.7

55.6

52.1

49.1

To read books not related to the profession or studies

-

47.8

49.1

52.5

52.3

To read press (at least once monthly)

65.9

69.2

69.7

73.8

71.5

To watch videos (at least once a week)

3.2

-

31.8

31.7

31.8

To watch television

97.6

98.9

98.0

98.2

96.9

To listen to the radio daily

56.2

-

59.6

60.1

63.7

Personal computer (at least once a week)

5.9

-

28.3

43.1

55.3

Internet (at least once a week)

-

-

19.6

37.6

53.6

Source:     Ministry of Culture (several years) Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices in Spain.

With respect to consumer characteristics, the latest survey confirms participation patterns already observed in previous periods. Thus, indicators offer significant differences by gender. Women read more than men, except for professional and digital reading and newspapers, activities that are more frequent among men. Women visit libraries more often, although Internet access to them is higher among males. Women also have higher rates of visits to exhibitions or art galleries, while men visit museums, monuments and archaeological sites more often.

Young people have the highest rates of cultural participation in almost all areas: they visit more museums, monuments, etc.; they attend more performing arts or music events; they read more; they go to libraries more often, and they buy more. However, this high rate decreases, with greater or lesser extent, when age increases.

Educational level is the most decisive variable in cultural participation, rising significantly when the level of education increases.

Although the exploitation of the Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices in Spain that makes the Ministry does not provide data by place of origin of the consumer, in 2005, the Permanent Immigration Observatory, attached to the current Ministry for Employment and Social Security, published a study entitled "Consumption and leisure of Latin American immigrants in Spain". Dividing the population by groups, the main leisure activities of adult women were cinema, the circus (with their children) and local institutional events. They also watch Spanish television dramas and series, news programmes and debates. Among young adults, those who are studying buy books and music and make the most of free events such as exhibitions, debates, book presentations, etc. In general, they listen to a great deal of music on the radio, read the news on the Internet, and young women buy women's magazines. Adolescents have clearly defined cultural interests: they listen to "top forty" type radio programmes and listen to music with MP3s; those who have the Internet download music and films; they know the TV programme schedules and they go to the cinema to see the latest US film releases. To conclude: the study shows that once they have gained a minimal level of stability, immigrants participate actively in consumption and leisure, and also their desire for integration is fundamentally a desire to raise their consumption, in terms of both quantity and quality. More recently, an exploratory study on cultural consumption also of Latin American immigrants in Spain highlights the low level of intra-ethnic association; patterns of cultural and media consumption similar to the country of origin; the survival of traditional mass media, with a clear preference for the use of television and radio listening (and especially for music stations); a higher consumption of free print media; low attendance at the cinema and informal channels of video distribution; the growing use of new technologies; and the observation of the effects of the crisis on the living standards of Latin American immigrants in Spain. The qualitative study also points out how respondents, particularly those living in rural areas, demand changes in the ways of understanding, for example, festivals and youth activities, as well as social and cultural programmes. In this sense, most of them request more openness in the design and promotion of festivals and events, as well as certain political will to promote the dissemination of information in circuits closer to immigrants (Retis, 2011). In 2013, a first approach to the participation of Moroccan residents in cultural and media activities has been published. Television (91.6% are television viewers), music (54.6% listen to the radio daily) and literature (44.5%) are the most common activities among Moroccan residents. Moreover, the study points out a tendency towards intra-ethnic consumption and reveals gender differences in both the youth and adult group (Huertas et al., 2013).


Chapter published: 24-06-2015

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