According to Latin year-end numbers released by the RIAA, Latin music shipments to retail in the U.S. and Puerto Rico totaled 55.6 million units for 2005, a 14% jump over the 48.6 million units record

According to Latin year-end numbers released by the RIAA, Latin music shipments to retail in the U.S. and Puerto Rico totaled 55.6 million units for 2005, a 14% jump over the 48.6 million units recorded in 2004.

That translates into a 16% growth in dollar value for 2005 compared to 2004, and offers a stark contrast to the general marketplace, which saw a 3.9% decline in units shipped, according to RIAA numbers.

Among the reasons for the continued growth in Latin shipments, now in their second consecutive year, according to RIAA numbers, is the surge in reggaetón sales. So strong was the genre, that the RIAA added a new urban subgenre to its shipment report. Urban includes reggaetón as well as rap, banda/rap and hip hop.

Still, regional Mexican music continues to dominate Latin music sales, with fully 48% of all shipments falling under that subgenre. Pop/rock came in second, with 39% of all shipments, with tropical a distant third with 9%.

Shipments in the urban category on began to be measured in the fourth
quarter of 2005. For that time period, regional Mexican still topped shipments at 43%, followed by pop with 34% and urban with 14%. Tropical remained consistent at 9%.

While regional Mexican clearly continues to clearly dominate the Latin music landscape, its shipment numbers have lost ground to other genres; in 2004, regional Mexican music accounted for 60% of all Latin music shipments, according to the RIAA.

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