Billboard Latin Music Conference: Experts Talk Surge of Live Streaming and Curation Services

Billboard Latin conference 2016 new music curators
Nicole Pereira Photography

Emily White, Jesus Lara and Matt Maysonet during the New Music Curators panel at the 2016 Latin Billboards Conference held at The Ritz-Carlton in South Beach, Fla. on April 26, 2016.

At least 90 percent of American adults still listen to radio and get much of their new music tastes from their favorite stations. The number is even higher for Hispanics. But the surge of live streaming and curator services is so huge that even radio has taken notice and wants in. 

Enter La Musica, a new app designed for Hispanic millennials which personalizes their radio experience.

"Radio continues to be the primary medium through which artists are discovered," said Jesus Lara, executive vp of digital media for Spanish Broadcasting System, speaking during the New Music Curators panel at the Billboard Latin Music ConferenceDifferent from Spotify or Shazam or other curator apps, La Musica still streams the station DJ comments and offers visual content as well.

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"We feel that the connection radio has with local communities is different from listening to a playlist," Lara said. "It's one thing to listen to a playlist [and another to] listen to your favorite DJ on La Mega New York, who can tell you what is happening."

Other panelists reinforced the idea that Latin music curation is growing faster than any other genre.

Rocio Guerrero, head of Latin and global programming for Spotify, said Latin music outpaces any other genre, with more streaming than country or electric dance music not just in the U.S. but all over the world.

"We've been able to serve the right music to the right people. And we can test it pretty quickly. That has helped us to grow so quick and so fast," she said at the panel, moderated by Billboard's social charts manager Emily White.

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"Our job is to soundtrack their lives."

Matt Maysonet, head of entertainment content and brand partnerships for YouNow, says that these services allow everyone to act as a curator.

"You have the opportunity as a young person now to not only interact and watch the people you see today on social media, but you yourself can interact as a part of this community that is very engaged and very enthusiastic," he said.

You might even get Juanes' attention. "As a fan, to be noticed by someone is the pinnacle," Maysonet said.

Billboard Latin Music Awards 2016

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