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Urban Latin Music Dominated 2018, According To Streaming Services
You've heard it a thousand times: Latin urban music is reaching greater audiences in the United States and outside the Spanish-speaking world. In 2018 alone, the genre known as the "Latino Gang," GRAMMY nominee Cardi B, Latin GRAMMY winner J Balvin and Latin GRAMMY nominee Bad Bunny dominated streams and charts with "I Like It."
To further cement Latin urban’s reign, streaming services YouTube, Pandora, Apple Music and Spotify have all released data that continue to show how the internet is helping the genre carve out a place in the U.S and global music market.
On the global scale, YouTube has released its top most-viewed videos of 2018, with eight of its top 10 being Spanish-language songs. Taking first place is the remix version of Casper Magico, Nio Garcia and Darell's reggaeton breakup song "Te Bote," which also features rap verses by Nicky Jam, Bad Bunny and Ozuna with 1.45 billion views year-to-date, according to Variety.
Meanwhile, Nicky Jam's "X" featuring J Balvin, another reggaeton-infused, hip-shaking track, trails behind "Te Bote" with 1.40 billion views.
This year the list features two more Spanish-language artists than last year. In 2017, six Spanish language songs made the top list with Luis Fonsi's "Despacito" in the No.1 spot.
Music-streaming giant Spotify’s most globally streamed artist is Drake, but Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin follows close behind at No. 4. Other artists on the global list's top 10 include Ozuna and Bad Bunny at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. Cardi B, who has had a few collaborations with Latin urban artists like Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Ozuna, is the No. 3 most streamed female artist of the year.
Arguably, Spotify's playlist game, with a recently launched strategy to make global music bigger, makes them the leader in that lane too. Urban Latin music makes an appearance on their top most-followed playlist of the year as the Baila Reggaeton is No. 4.
While not as popular as in other lists, Cardi B, J Balvin and Bad Bunny popped up in Apple Music's top lists, too. "I like It" is No. 6 on the Global 100 list and No. 10. The song was chosen by staff as Song Of The Year.
Pandora, currently only in the U.S., published a list featuring the top Latin music streams and urban Latin music dominates. "I Like It" holds the No. 1 spot, followed by Nicky Jam and J Balvin's "X," and Ozuna's La Modelo featuring Cardi B at No. 3. "Te Bote."
The growth in urban Latin music presence on digital charts, thanks in large part to streaming, is estimated to continue growing, but we'll have to wait for 2019 to see how that will look like.