Latin Music Breaks Revenue Record with Huge 35% Increase, New Report Says

Latin Music BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of BELatina.

Over the past few years, and despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen Latin artists conquer digital platforms, sweeping awards shows, and fill stadiums.

Undoubtedly, our community’s music has conquered every corner of the globe and is now one of the highest-grossing genres in music.

According to a new RIAA report released Tuesday, U.S. Latin music revenues soared in 2021, up a whopping 35 percent to $886 million — the highest figure in history before adjusting for inflation.

The figure far outpaced the overall growth rate of recorded music revenues, which rose a hefty 22 percent, according to the RIAA’s year-end report released last month, Variety reported.

“Latin music continues to rise – powering the overall music market and reporting its highest revenue figure in history last year at $886 million. With a growth of 35 percent — far surpassing the overall growth rate for recorded music revenues — Latin music is connecting with fans in a historic way,” wrote Michèle Ballantyne, COO of RIAA, in the report. “In a year when Bad Bunny was the most streamed artist in the world, stars like Becky G and Anitta pumped out chart-topping hit after chart-topping hit, and audiences joyfully flocked to Latin-powered stadium and arena shows as live performance ramped back up, Latin label teams and artists continue soaring to new heights.”

As the report explains, In 2021, revenue derived from Latin music in the U.S. saw a double-digit increase, continuing a trend that began six years ago. While $886 million represents a record, with adjustments for inflation, 2021 is still 16 percent below the value of the best year for Latin music, 2005. U.S. Latin music revenue share increased to 5.9 percent, up from 5.4 percent in 2020.

Streaming format revenues increased 36 percent to a record $857 million in 2021 and accounted for 97 percent of Latin music revenues. Paid subscriptions continued to be the largest driver of Latin music revenue growth. Paid subscription revenues increased 35 percent to $593 million, representing more than 2/3 of total U.S. Latin music revenues in 2021.

Ad-supported on-demand streams (from services such as YouTube, Vevo, and the free version of Spotify) increased 46 percent year-over-year to $187 million. This represents a return to further growth in this category, where a more extensive decline in advertising due to COVID-19 had a large impact. Compared to overall U.S. music revenues, this ad-supported category has a much higher market share, with 21 percent of total Latin music revenues, compared to 12 percent overall.

You can read the full report here.