The King of the Latin album market had nine of last year’s top 10 sellers
Aside from his oversight of Universal’s operations in Latin America, Spain and Portugal, Jesus Lopez presides over the biggest Latin music company in the United States, with an impressive 46.3% share of the Latin album market in 2013, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s a 5% year-over-year increase, and the growth outstrips gains from the acquisition of EMI.
A major factor was the late Jenni Rivera: Six of her titles were among the top 10 best-selling Latin albums of 2013. In fact, nine of those 10 were Universal Music Group releases, including Alejandro Fernandez’s Confidencias and Andrea Bocelli’s Spanish-language Pasion.
Beyond sales, Universal’s focus has increasingly shifted to diversifying revenue from a global perspective, with special emphasis on sponsorships and management, and booking through in-house firm GTS, which booked more than 150 shows last year, including a 40-date Latin-American tour with Il Volo.
Significant gains were also made in neighboring rights negotiations, which have long been a sore point in Latin America.
“We reached agreements in places like Brazil with Globo Sky after negotiating for many years,” Lopez says. “We are moving toward normalizing the use of music, and establishing agreements that lead to rights that are respected and produce economic benefit for producers, authors and performers.”