Along with Bad Bunny’s hit-making, chart-topping and record-breaking streak — and the inescapable Un Verano Sin Ti (2022) resonating throughout nearly all major metropolitan cities in America — Latin music continues to reach unprecedented heights in popularity, chart placements and sales. Bizarrap, Rosalía, and Manuel Turizo are just a few more Latin music heavyweights adding to the boom Stateside.
Further testifying to the genre’s continued economic rise is the Recording Industry Association of America. Better known as the RIAA, the trade organization released a report Thursday (Oct. 6) — exclusively on Billboard Español — that shows how Latin music is outpacing overall U.S. revenue tallies, thus growing its share to a record high at 6.6% of total revenue. Last year’s total revenue amounted to 5.9%.
Building on 2021’s overall 35% growth, Latin music revenue increased 23% in the first half of the year, reaching a total of $510 million.
“Latin music continues to flourish with 23% growth over the first half of 2022, outpacing overall recorded music revenues and reaching an all-time high in share,” RIAA’s COO Michele Ballantyne said in a statement. “Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti has been the most listened to album released this year across all genres – that is the power of Latin music to reach and connect with fans universally! The dynamic creative partnerships between Latin artists and their label teams drive incredible results year after year.”
Music streaming formats were the fundamental growth driver at 24%, comprising a staggering 97% of total Latin music revenues. Looking at U.S. Latin music streaming revenues of 2022 so far, paid subscriptions comprised the biggest source of sales at 71%. That’s 69% of overall Latin revenues, totaling $350 million in paid subscriptions alone.
“U.S. Latin revenue rose to more than half a billion dollars during the first half of 2022,” says RIAA’s senior vp of research and economics Josh Friedlander. “Once again, streaming remains king in the Latin segment of the U.S. market, driving a remarkable 97% of total revenues. Both of the largest streaming categories – paid subscriptions and on-demand ad-supported streaming – as well as CDs and the rejuvenated vinyl format, grew for Latin music over this period.”
On the ad-supported and on-demand front, including streams from YouTube, Vevo and Spotify’s free version, total revenue rose 39% to $112 million. This shows that Latin music sales continue to spike from last year’s recovery from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. Digital and customized radio services like Pandora and SiriusXM were the only streaming formats that declined, down 14% in Latin revenue from last year’s stats.
Physical format sales from CDs and vinyl are bouncing back, although they only comprise 2% of total revenues. Vinyl sales doubled to $6 million, whereas CD sales made up $1.4 million.
“Capping off our mid-year reporting, this continued U.S. Latin music growth amplifies the already strong overall results covered in our whole market report issued last month,” adds research manager Matt Bass, as reflected here.
The year isn’t over, but 2022 already demonstrates how Latin music will continue to be a force to be reckoned with in the U.S. (and beyond), with numbers continuing to rise each year.
RIAA Note: “RIAA data for U.S. Latin market includes estimates for both major record label and indie-distributed music. Formats with no retail value equivalent included at wholesale value.”