10 Qualities of the Average Latin Music Listener, According to Nielsen Insights

Dave Bakula
Nicole Pereira for Billboard

David Bakula, Nielsen.

Exactly who is the typical Latin music fan?  Most of them are millennials or Gen-X. They prefer to speak Spanish. They believe their cultural heritage is an important component to who they are. And they stream videos like crazy.

These are some of the insights provided by David Bakula, Nielsen Music’s SVP of global product leadership and industry insights, during his very illuminating presentation at the Billboard Latin Music Conference. 

The big take-away, says Bakula, is about “the opportunity that exists with connecting with this consumer in Spanish, and through their heritage and their art.”

Here are 10 precious nuggets of information from Bakula’s presentation. 

1. They’re younger… with children:  The majority of U.S. Latin music fans (41 percent) are 18-34, and 38 percent of them are 35-54. Only 13 percent are 55 and older, compared to 31 percent of country fans and 19 percent of pop/Top 40 fans. But they’re not that young either: 54 percent are married, and 57 percent have children under 18 in the household. 

2. They prefer Spanish to English. Si. Fully 74 percent of people who identify as fans of Latin music prefer to speak Spanish. 

3. They’re highly connected. 97 percent of Latin music listeners 18-34 own a smartphone, 47.5 percent have listened to an online music service on their smartphone in the past month and 78 percent use social network sites regularly. 

4. They’re proud to be Hispanic. 73 percent agree with the statement: “Culture/ethnic heritage is an important part of who I am.” 

5. Streaming is king. Although radio has long been hugely popular with Hispanic audiences in this country, streaming accounts for a larger portion of listening time – 44 percent -- than any other medium (radio accounts for 18%). 

6. Latin audiences “Lean Back.” More than fans of any other genre, Latin music fans are more likely to turn on the music and let it play when it comes to streaming. 38 percent of respondents reported doing that compared to 32 percent in EDM and 30 percent in R&B. 

7. Latin music is growing, fast. Last year, Latin music growth outpaced the market, with consumption increasing by 29.9% compared to 12.5% for the market as a whole. 

8. Latin audiences love to stream…and they love to stream videos. Latin music is driven by streaming more than any other genre, with streaming accounting for 88 percent of all consumption. And most of the streaming (68 percent of on demand streams in 2017) comes from video, more than any other genre. 

9. Latin is growing even more in 2018. So far this year, consumption has grown by 46.4 percent, compared to 17 percent for the market as a whole. 

10. It’s not stopping. From 2017 to 2022, 58 percent of the population growth is expected to come from the Hispanic population, which will represent over 20 percent of the U.S. population.