President, Sony Music U.S. Latin
Thanks in part to releases by artists like Shakira, Marc Anthony and Chayanne and distribution of such acts as Daddy Yankee and Aventura, Sony Music U.S. Latin's share of the U.S. Latin market rose to 25.9% in 2010 from 20.8% the year before, and hit 28.3% at midyear 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Leading Sony's domestic efforts is Ruben Leyva, who in the past 12 months also signed Aventura lead singer Anthony "Romeo" Santos and was key in closing the deal that lead to Pitbull's first Spanish-language album, Armando (distributed by Sony). Sony also led Billboard's Latin pop and tropical albums recap for the 12 months ending July 2, thanks to strong showings by artists like Franco de Vita, whose Primera Fila is the latest in a franchise launched under Leyva.
According to Sony, the label held 35.5% of the Latin digital market share for the period ending May 1. For Leyva, born and raised in the United States and bilingual, reaching a bilingual, bicultural marketplace is key across genres, as is creating strategic alliances. For that reason, Leyva has placed renewed interest in Sony's regional Mexican roster, which has languished in recent years, striking a distribution deal with indie Del Records (home to Gerardo Ortiz) and signing other young acts like Los Cuates de Sinaloa.
Quote: "It's an honor to be selected among this amazing group of people."
Advice to future Latin Power Players: "More than ever an open and creative mind is key to finding new ways to do business. For our industry to continue to grow and expand this is essential."