Sales of Latin music declined yet again in 2011, but the damage was far less than the year before, showing signs that the market may be stabilizing.
Total sales of Latin music albums in the U.S. and Puerto Rico -- defined as albums that are at least 51% in Spanish -- were 11.8 million units for the 52 weeks ending Jan. 1, 2012, down from the 12.4 million units sold in 2010. That amounts to a 4.3% drop, a huge improvement over the year before, when album sales plunged by 25%.
The top selling album of the year was the eponymous debut set by Prince Royce, out on indie Top Stop Music, which moved 186,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It was followed closely by Maná's "Drama y Luz" (Warner), which sold 175,000 and Cristian Castro's "Viva El Príncipe" (UMLE), which sold 167,000 copies. Romeo Santos' "Formula, Vol. 1" (Sony) moved 157,000 copies in fourth place, and in fifth place, Wisin & Yandel's "Los Vaqueros: El Regreso" (UMLE) sold 123,000 copies.
Enrique Iglesias' "Euphoria" (UMLE), the top-selling album of 2010, came in at No. 6 this time around, followed by Camila with "Dejarte de Amar," Ricky Martin's "Musica + Alma + Sexo" and Shakira's "Sale el Sol," all three on Sony. Los Bukis 35 Aniversario (UMLE) rounded off the top 10.
In the meantime, digital sales of Latin music continue to rise, but still not as quickly as the industry would want. Sales of Latin digital albums went up, from 917,000 units in 2010 to 1.1 million units in 2011. Likewise, sales of digital Latin tracks also went up more noticeably, from 18.8 million downloads in 2010 to 20.6 million downloads in 2011. In that realm, tracks with crossover appeal ruled the charts.
The top selling track of the year was Don Omar's unstoppable "Danza Kuduro," featuring Lucenzo, followed by Shakira's "Waka Waka," featuring Freshly Ground and Pitbull's "I Know You Want Me."