Latin Music Continues Its Remarkable Growth Streak in 2023
Latin music in the United States is experiencing an extraordinary surge in revenue, with a 15% increase in consumption compared to the first half of 2022. Furthermore, Spanish has now secured its place as the second most-listened-to language in music across the United States, accounting for a significant 23% of listeners.
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These impressive milestones come on the heels of a breakthrough year for Latin music in 2022 when the genre reached an all-time high of $1.1 billion in revenue. As 2023 unfolds, Latin music is poised for yet another record-breaking year, with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reporting a new mid-year high of $627 million.
The growth in Latin music revenue can be attributed to several factors, including the emergence of exciting newcomers in subgenres like regional Mexican, which has seen a remarkable 56% increase in the first half of this year alone. Renowned Spanish artists like Shakira and Karol G have also ventured into this flourishing market, contributing to a total of 14.3 billion on-demand streams during the first 34 weeks of 2023.
In a surprising revelation, a report by Luminate found that 73% of Hispanic listeners use WhatsApp to discover new music and communicate, a staggering 265% more than the general population. This trend is reflected on a commercial scale, as streaming powerhouse Bad Bunny recently announced his latest single on the platform’s newly-established “channels” feature.
Latin music now stands as the fifth largest major genre in the United States, with R&B leading the charts as the most popular genre, followed by hip-hop, pop, rock, and country. Notably, Latin music enthusiasts are willing to spend 120% more per month on music-related activities than other listeners, with 58% of Latin music fans reporting that they allocate more than half of their monthly music budget to attend live events.
Streaming remains the driving force behind this growth, accounting for a staggering 98% of Latin music revenues. Paid subscriptions alone reached a total of $431 million, making up more than two-thirds of the genre’s total revenues. Additional revenue from digital and customized radio services, such as Pandora, SiriusXM, and internet radio, saw a remarkable 13% growth to $36 million, rebounding strongly after a 5% dip in 2022, contributing 6% of the total Latin music revenue. However, permanent downloads ($4.8 million) and physical formats ($4.7 million) accounted for less than 1% each of total revenues, showing declines of 21% and 37%, respectively, during the first half of 2023.
Rafael Fernandez, Jr., RIAA Senior Vice President of State Public Policy and Industry Relations, commented on this impressive growth, stating, “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.”
The Latin music industry’s remarkable ascent in the United States not only showcases its cultural impact but also its economic significance, solidifying its position as a major player in the country’s music landscape. With a dynamic mix of established stars and rising talent, Latin music’s growth trajectory seems poised to continue on its upward trajectory in the years to come.