Latin Power Players: Jesus Lopez
Latin Power Players: Jesus Lopez

Jesus Lopez

Jesus Lopez

Chairman, Universal Music Latin America/Iberian Peninsula

Jesus Lopez oversees Universal Music Latin's label operations in Spain, Portugal, Latin America and the United States. In the States, Universal Music Latin Entertainment is the Latin market-share leader, commanding 41.2% of the market as of midyear, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Although the number was a drop from 47.1% in 2009, it still far outpaces any competition. Perhaps most impressive, UMLE's market share comes not from licensing or distribution deals but from artists it has directly signed. Through it all, Lopez is singularly hands-on, keeping abreast of seemingly every artist, release and marketing plan.

UMLE scored the top-selling Latin album of 2010, Enrique Iglesias' bilingual Euphoria (also the top-selling release of the past 12 months), managing to straddle multiple markets and audiences at a time in which the U.S. Latin consumer is breaking down language barriers.

Lopez's other artist-driven achievements include signing Alejandro Sanz, a major international artist who further consolidates Universal's roster; sales of Cristian Castro; Los Tigres del Norte's MTV Unplugged; promoting Chino y Nacho regionwide; and Brazilian Paula Fernandes, who has sold more than 800,000 copies of her live album in Brazil, according to Lopez.

Beyond the music, Lopez has been steadily working toward unifying UMLE as a single business unit for the United States, Mexico and Central America, which led to changes in the management structure and the creation of a new executive post dedicated solely to new business.

"We clearly need to continue evolving and changing our structures to get closer to the consumer and design new business models that solidify us not only as a music company, but an entertainment company," Lopez says.

Short-term plans, for example, call for growing management service division GTS hand in hand with reality TV show "La Voz" (The Voice), which begins airing in Mexico in September.

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