Latin Music on the Rise

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Latin music revenues in the U.S. continued to grow for a fifth consecutive year in 2020. Despite the Covid-19 challenges of cancelled live shows and limitations on physical retail outlets, U.S. Latin music revenues grew 19% in 2020 to $655 million at estimated retail value—a significantly higher growth rate than for overall U.S. music revenues. Streaming formats grew 20% to $630 million, comprising 96% of total Latin music revenues in 2020.

In 2020, Latin music accounted for 5.4% of the total $12.2 billion U.S. recorded music revenues, up from 5.0% in 2019. Driven by continued growth in streaming, Latin music revenues are at their highest level since 2005.

Paid subscriptions continued to be by far the biggest driver of revenue growth for Latin music in the U.S., contributing 70% of streaming revenues in 2020. The category (which includes services like Apple Music, Spotify Premium,

and Amazon Unlimited, among others) grew 28% to $439 million, and accounted for the vast majority of the total dollar growth in Latin Music in 2020.

Revenues from on-demand ad-supported services grew 6% to $128 million. This category includes services like YouTube, Vevo and ad-supported Spotify. Similar to the broader U.S. revenue trends, this category experienced slower growth in the period after Covid-19 caused declines in advertising revenues across many forms of media. This category made up 20% of Latin streaming music revenues, a significantly larger proportion than the 12% it contributed to overall U.S. music streaming revenues in 2020.

Digital and customized radio revenues (including services like Pandora, SiriusXM, and internet radio services) were down slightly versus the prior year. Revenues from SoundExchange distributions and royalties from similar directly licensed services decreased 2% to $63 million, accounting for 10% of streaming revenues.

For the first time, vinyl records are included in the Latin year-end report (including data for 2019 as well). Growth in revenues from vinyl more than offset declines in CDs, resulting in 3% growth of physical product to $4.5 million in 2020. Digital download sales fell 14% versus the prior year to $14.5 million. Combined, these unit-based formats accounted for just 2.9% of U.S. Latin music revenues in 2020.

Featured image: “Reggaeton chicas” by shansby is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world, investing in great artists to help them reach their potential and connect to their fans. RIAA members create, manufacture, or distribute sound recordings representing approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music consumption in the United States.

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