Tuesday morning (April 22) at Las Vegas' The Venetian, Billboard Latin Music Week kicked off with opening remarks from Billboard's vp/Latin industry lead Leila Cobo. Cobo addressed the crowd in both Spanish and English, because, as a show of hands revealed, about three people inside the conference room spoke solely English (or at least, three people owned up to it).
After her intro, Nielsen Music senior vp industry insights & analytics David Bakula took the stage. And while a slew of numbers might not be everyone's favorite way to start the day at 9 a.m., the powerful evidence presented regarding Latin music's revolution was strong enough that everyone was listening in rapt attention and pushing to ask questions well past the allotted Q&A time.
"Latin music is everywhere -- this isn’t just about Hispanics, it's about its impact on popular music as a whole. It's not a small, niche market anymore," Bakula said, arguing the growth Latin music is experiencing goes beyond evolution (think: a hip-hop fan broadening their horizons into a new subgenre in 2018) to revolution (think: people starting to listen to a genre for the first time, and non-Latinx stars seeking out collaborations with Latinx talent in 2018).