Takeaways From Latin Music Week's 'The Streaming Equation' Panel With Pedro Capo & More

Presented by Jose Luis Sevillano, CEO of Spain's AIE, Billboard's streaming-focused panel broke down the industry's response to revenue per stream and the impact of digital platforms on the creative process. Producer Julio Reyes Copello, artist Pedro Capó and indie label head Eric Duars shared wisdom from their own experiences in different facets of the industry during the discussion moderated by 2021 Billboard Indie Power Player Ana Gonzalez, managing partner of InnerCat Music Group.

"Streaming is quickly replacing radio as our principal channel of communication," Gonzalez stated, before asking panelists their take on everything from the portion of streaming revenue that flows to artists as well as positive impacts of new digital models. "For new artists today who are making content, many years from now people will continue enjoying their catalogs," said Duars, whose company manages artist Rauw Alejandro. "The era of the artist may pass but the music will continue to [have life] and make money. Eventually when we look back, we’ll be grateful for this model."

Additionally, Capó mentioned the impact of streaming platforms on the reach of Latin music. "[Our music] has always had the value and quality, but to get that access through digital platforms is incredible, especially without concerts. It’s a process that is still being discovered and developed."

While the panel gave their takes on positive elements of the streaming model, both Capó and Copello noted its harmful impacts on the purity of music and creative processes, which Copello said is now at the service of artificial intelligence. "It translates in the sound and aesthetic but above all, in the lack of plurality. It’s monochromatism that at times needs some oxygen. In some moment I have faith that both the scenarios will coexist, the speed with the quality," he said, as the audience met him with a round of applause. "In my experience I feel there’s a point where you have to protect the essence of what music means to people."

For Duars, it's about delivering the right message in a concise time frame. He shared that for Alejandro, they've found a sweet spot for song duration, anywhere between two minutes and 45 seconds and three minutes and 15 seconds.

One thing the panelists all agreed on was the importance of remaining informed as artists. "There are two players: the world of creatives and the world of numbers," said Copello. "I’ve lived through the transformation from CDs to digital platforms and we have to adapt to the new realities. On the plus side, we’ve never consumed music like today."

Panelists pointed to greater transparency and consultation in the future, to create more equitable splits and distribution for artists.

The star-studded 2021 Latin Music Week lineup -- headlined by Daddy Yankee, Karol G and Nicky Jam -- also includes participation by Anitta, Elena Rose, Natti Natasha, Jhay Cortez, Kany García and Tainy.

Under the slogan “The Beat of Latin Music,” making its mark as the longest running and biggest Latin music industry gathering in the world, this year’s event will continue through the end of the week as Billboard launches its En Vivo concert series in partnership with Samsung, Amazon Music and Bacardí.

The 2021 Latin Music Week will take place from Sept. 20 to 25 at the Faena Forum in Miami, and coincides with the 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards broadcasting live via Telemundo on Sept. 23. See the list of finalists here.

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