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Population: 47 million
Internet penetration: 93%

The Spanish media market is characterised by intense rivalries between major conglomerates, the continuing importance of broadcast news, and innovation online. Local and general elections in 2023 heightened political, media, and social polarisation, with news organisations covering the elections in a market defined by low media trust and decreasing interest in politics and information.

The Spanish media market has undergone significant changes, particularly at Mediaset, a leading broadcast TV corporation. The group closed Nius, its experimental digital-born news media company, which launched in 2019. Staff will be redeployed to the websites of Mediaset's two main channels Telecinco and Cuatro. Separately, news bulletins on Cuatro have restarted. Mediaset also hired Carlos Franganillo from public broadcaster RTVE in January 2024 as a primetime news anchor. Franganillo's appointment helped Telecinco's primetime news programme overtake TVE, positioning it as the second-most-watched news programme in Spain, behind Antena 3 Noticias.

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In March 2024, turmoil erupted at public broadcaster RTVE where the decision by the interim president, Elena Sánchez, to dismiss the Head of Content prompted the board to remove her. The controversy arose over Sanchez’s resistance to government pressure to acquire a late-night interview show hosted by David Broncano for €12m p.a. for two years, with a guaranteed primetime slot for 18 months. In the end the contract was approved thanks to the casting vote of the new interim president.

Overall, Spanish people are watching less traditional TV, with the growth of streaming contributing to that. But TV is holding up better than in many countries. Although the percentage of Spaniards subscribing to OTT services has increased from 37% to 65% in the past five years, linear TV remains dominant, with 84% of viewing compared to 16% for streaming services.1

According to InfoAdex, Spanish media companies experienced a modest increase in advertising revenue (4%) in 2023, with digital advertising accounting for 48% or €2.8bn of the €5.9bn total. Digital spending was primarily directed towards websites (38%), search engines (35%), and social media platforms (27%). The growth in branded content, up 21% to €550m reflects how engaging and narrative-driven content has become a preferred method for connecting with audiences.2

Traditional media formats, such as magazines, newspapers, and TV, had mixed fortunes: advertising revenues for magazines grew by 2.2% to €126m, but fell in newspapers by 2.1% to €340m, and remained flat in TV (-0.2%) at €1.7bn.

Spain’s major news companies started digital subscription strategies around 2019, later than in some other European countries. However digital news subscriptions grew significantly last year, boosted by introductory offers and discounting. Company data indicate a total of 1.1 million digital subscribers. El País (350,000 subscriptions), El Mundo (123,000), and La Vanguardia (107,000) led this ranking. However, the lack of any independent audit of subscriber numbers means the figures should be viewed with caution.

In February 2023, El Mundo, the second largest Spanish newspaper, redesigned its digital and print editions. Prisa, meanwhile, announced plans for a major business news site bringing together journalists from El País's economics section and the specialised daily Cinco Días. Prisa Audio is the second-largest audio streaming company in the world and the leader in the Spanish-speaking market. Major Spanish news outlets such as El País,, El Español, El Mundo, and El Confidencial have taken significant steps towards leveraging social platforms for wider news dissemination by distributing content through WhatsApp since September.

Relevo, one of the newest digital sports media in the Spanish market, launched in 2022 and owned by Vocento, has pursued a very vigorous social media strategy with more than a million followers on social media and a strong focus on TikTok and Twitch alongside Twitter and Instagram. It quickly made waves with its in-depth coverage and investigative journalism, and its 2023 exposé of the sexual scandal involving Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Football Federation, became a huge story and eventually led to his resignation.

This year also saw significant legal developments in Spain's media landscape. The Association of Information Media, representing 83 Spanish news outlets, filed lawsuits against Meta alleging data protection violations and unfair competition. These cases highlight the need for tech giants to comply with European regulations.

Finally, artificial intelligence (AI) has played an increasingly pivotal role in the media landscape, with 94% of Spanish media executives believing that AI will enhance user experiences through content personalisation.3 However, concerns about misinformation and the newsroom's capacity to adapt to AI-driven changes persist among the Spanish editors.

Alfonso Vara-Miguel, Roncesvalles Labiano, María Fernanda Novoa and Aurken Sierra
University of Navarra

Spain in previous reports: 2023 | 2022 | 2021


Changing media

Traditional sources of news such as TV and print have declined significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic, but digital consumption is also down, perhaps a reflection of increasing news avoidance overall.

*2018 figures for computer use were likely overstated due to an error in polling

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Trust in news overall



In a year with two elections, trust in news overall remained unchanged, and worryingly, those who distrusted the news in general (40%) still exceeded the group that usually trusted it (33%). There was though a 6pp increase in trust in the Spanish public broadcaster, RTVE, driven particularly by the young (25–34 year olds) and voters on the left.

RSF World Press Freedom Index


Score 76.01

Measure of press freedom from NGO Reporters Without Borders based on expert assessment. More at


1 According to data from the CNMC Household Panel of the National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC):

2 Estudio Infoadex de la Inversión Publicitaria en España 2023: