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Latin Music US Recorded Revenue Hits Record $886M in 2021: RIAA

Latin music revenues grew 35% last year, marking the sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth.

Latin music continued its relentless expansion path in the U.S. last year, with recorded revenues reaching $886 million, according to a year-end report released by the RIAA Tuesday (April 12). That’s the highest figure ever for Latin music before adjusting for inflation and marks overall revenue growth of 35% compared to 2020 — far outpacing the 23% growth rate seen in the overall U.S. music market, as previously reported by the RIAA.

“With growth of 35% – far surpassing the overall growth rate for recorded music revenues – Latin music is connecting with fans in a historic way,” said RIAA COO Michèle Ballantyne in a statement included in the report.

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The 2021 numbers mark the sixth consecutive year of double-digit growth in revenue for Latin music, which is defined as music recorded predominantly in Spanish. Despite that, after adjusting for inflation, the $886 million number is still 15% below the value of Latin’s strongest year, which occurred in 2005.

Lifted by Latin America’s streaming power and a bigger-than-ever output of recorded material, Latin music has seen consumption multiply worldwide, including in the U.S., where Latin’s share of U.S. music revenues grew from 5.4% in 2020 to 5.9% in 2021.

Streaming formats made up the bulk of all Latin music revenues, accounting for 97%. Within that, paid music subscriptions were the biggest driver of revenue growth, increasing 35% to $593 million and accounting for more than two-thirds of all U.S. Latin music revenues.

Ad-supported on-demand streams also grew, to $187 million, an increase of 46% over 2020. That category continues to over-index in Latin music, accounting for 21% of all revenues, compared to 12% for the market overall. Digital radio, including Pandora and SiriusXM, registered 22% growth to hit $77 million after a slight decline in 2020.

Revenue from CD and vinyl sales grew 71.2%, from $4.5 million to $7.7 million. However, that still accounts for less than 1% of all Latin music revenue, signaling additional room for growth in the category.

Latin music’s stellar growth in the RIAA report runs parallel to the consumption gain reported in MRC Data’s year-end report, which showed Latin enjoying 21.2% growth in total album consumption in 2021, second only to the comedy music genre.