Residente, Ricky Martin and Bad Bunny perform at the 2019 Latin GRAMMY Awards
Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images
RIAA Report: Latin Music Is Growing Faster Than The Overall U.S. Music Market
The Latin music industry had a landmark year in 2019. A new report from the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) shows that the U.S. Latin music industry "continued to grow at a faster rate than the overall market."
In its 2019 Year-End Latin Music Industry Revenue Report, made public this week (April 30), the RIAA reports that Latin music revenues in the U.S. grew 28 percent, to $554 million, last year, marking the highest figure the market has seen since 2006. Comparatively, the overall U.S. market grew 13 percent in the same year.
Unsurprisingly, streaming, the "dominant format in Latin music in the U.S.," according to the report, comprised 95 percent of total Latin music revenues in 2019; said revenues totaled $529 million, a 32 percent increase.
In the streaming category, paid subscriptions—Apple Music, Spotify Premium, Amazon Unlimited and the like—accounted for 65 percent of Latin streaming music revenues in the U.S. last year, while an additional 23 percent came from ad-supported streaming options like YouTube, Vevo and ad-supported Spotify, among other services. Digital and customized radio services, like Pandora, SiriusXM and other internet radio options, as well as SoundExchange distributions and related royalties rounded out the remaining streaming revenues.
Ultimately, Latin music accounted for 5 percent of the total recorded music business in the U.S. last year, which reached $11.1 billion; this marks an increase of 0.6 percent compared to the Latin music industry's total of 4.4 percent in 2018.
As Rolling Stone points out, despite Latin music's "notably higher ad-supported streaming revenue," the overall trends and statistics reported within the genre could signal a shift in streaming habits across the wider music market.
"Because Latin over-indexes so much on streaming, it's really a leading indicator for the market in terms of where things are going," Josh Friedlander, senior vice president of research and economics at RIAA, said in an interview with Rolling Stone. "All the trends that we're seeing in Latin are ahead of where they are in the market."
The latest RIAA report reflects a wave of continued growth within the Latin music market over the last three years. In 2017, Latin music saw its first growth since 2005, rising by 44 percent by the mid-year, while urban Latin music dominated streaming services in 2018. By 2019, Latin music ranked as the fifth-most-popular genre in America, in terms of album consumption.