Not Just Hype: Latinos Spend More on Music

Marketers are always talking about music being a “passion point” for Hispanics. Now, hard research shows the hype is true -- and measurable. According to Nielsen’s Listen Up, their just released report on Hispanic consumers and music, Hispanics -- regardless of origin, age, immigration status or linguistic preference -- are passionate about music. So passionate, in fact, that the average Hispanic spends $135 a year on music, “considerably” more than the average consumer, who spends $105 a year.

With the exception of satellite radio -- where they spend $8 per year, compared to $12 from the average consumer -- and digital tracks ($5 per year vs. $7.3 from average consumers), Hispanics spend more money on most music-related activities.

They drop $72 per year on concerts, festivals and cover charges, compared to $48 spent by average consumer; $13 on digital albums, vs. $7 for the average consumer; $12 on gift cards for others, vs. $9.70 for the average consumer; and $4 for paid online music streaming services vs. $3.1 for the mainstream. As far as CDs, Hispanics spent about $14 per year, same as the average consumer.


The Nielsen study, released earlier this month, provides the first comprehensive look at the way Hispanics spend time and money on music. The overriding conclusion, beyond actual expenditures, is the fact that music acts as a "glue" to bring together people of disparate nationalities and socio-economic status.

Hispanics, for example, are far more socially active online than other demographics, with 54% sharing music through social media and other platforms, compared to 37 percent of the total population, and 41 percent commenting on Facebook posts by artists or bands, compared to 29 percent of the population.

In a twist, a lot of this online traction doesn’t come from Hispanic-centric sites. Instead, the most-listened to streaming service for Hispanics is Pandora, followed by YouTube, iHeartRadio and Vevo.

As far as traditional, terrestrial radio is concerned, the overall Hispanic radio audience has increased by half a million in the past year, with more than 40 million Hispanics listening to radio every week.

A version of this article first appeared in the Aug. 30th issue of Billboard

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