Latin music revenue is growing at an unprecedented pace in the United States, rising in consumption by 15% compared to the first half of 2022. Not only that, Spanish is now the second most listened-to language in music across the U.S. accounting for an estimated 23% of listeners.
These landmarks follow a breakthrough year for Latin music revenue in 2022 when the genre hit an all-time high of $1.1 billion. In 2023, the genre is on track for another record-breaking year as the RIAA reported a new mid-year high of $627 million.
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New data by Luminate also suggests the uptick was struck thanks to buzzy newcomers from subgenres including regional Mexican, a fast-evolving landscape that logged an increase of 56% in this year alone. Spanish hitmakers like Shakira and Karol G have already dipped their toes in the market which has collected a total of 14.3 billion on-demand streams through the first 34 weeks of 2023.
Luminate’s report also made the surprising discovery that 73% of Hispanic listeners use WhatsApp to discover new music and communicate 265% more than the general population. That fact seems to hold up on a commercial scale as the latest single by streaming juggernaut Bad Bunny was announced on the platform’s newly-established “channels” features.
Latin music is also credited as the 5th largest major genre in the U.S. while R&B rules as No. 1, followed by hip-hop, pop, rock and country. Also worth noting: Latin music listeners spend 120% more per month on music-related activities than other listeners and 58% of Latin fans report devoting more than half of their monthly music spend on live events.
Still, the main proponent of this growth, accounting for 98% of Latin music revenues, is streaming. Paid subscriptions hit a total of $431 million, totaling more than two-thirds of total revenues. Additional revenue from digital and customized radio services (Pandora, SiriusXM and internet radio services) grew 13% to $36 million — increasing greatly after experiencing a 5% dip in 2022 — to make up 6% of total Latin music revenue. Permanent downloads ($4.8 million) and physical formats ($4.7 million) were each less than 1% of total revenues, down 21% and 37% respectively during the first half of 2023.
“U.S. Latin music revenues reached an all-time high in 2022, and the growth has continued mid-year into 2023. This has been driven by both the vitality of classic hits and chart-topping new releases that have influenced broader culture and society,” said Rafael Fernandez, Jr., RIAA senior vice president of state public policy and industry relations.
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