Latin Music Recorded Revenue Approached $1.4 Billion in the U.S. Last Year Amid Double-Digit Streaming Growth, Report Shows

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A performance from Bad Bunny, who’s currently on the road as part of his Most Wanted Tour. Photo Credit: Live Nation

Last year, Latin music’s recorded revenue jumped 16% in the U.S. to top $1.35 billion, according to a newly released report.

The RIAA today shed light on the latest datapoints behind the quick-expanding genre’s stateside performance. For reference, this past October had seen Luminate identify a 22.2% year-over-year (YoY) spike in on-demand Latin music streams in the U.S. through 2023’s initial 34 weeks.

And in keeping with that stat and other pertinent U.S. sales data, the RIAA pointed to a 20.7% YoY improvement in Latin’s paid streaming revenue, totaling $915.4 million, for all of 2023. Accompanying that estimated-retail-value sum on the year was $336.3 million in ad-supported on-demand streaming revenue (up 10.4% YoY), according to the relevant analysis, with an estimated $46 million in SoundExchange distributions (up 8% YoY) for Latin as well.

Furthermore, Latin’s U.S. recorded revenue attributable to other ad-supported streaming sources yet finished at $31 million (up 1.6% YoY), the RIAA indicated. Cumulative streaming revenue made up a whopping 98.3% of the genre’s overall revenue for 2023, when the sale of physical Latin releases like vinyl ($6.9 million) and CDs ($1.6 million) slipped 31.2% YoY.

Factoring also for the limited-in-scope sync category ($4.5 million, down 14.6% YoY) and permanent downloads ($9.9 million, down 14.7% YoY), north of 99% of Latin music’s 2023 U.S. revenue derived from digital, the breakdown shows.

And as a portion of total stateside recorded revenue – which has itself been climbing for some time – Latin accounted for 7.9% in 2023, up from 7.3% in 2022 and 5.5% in 2020, per the report. Addressing the results, RIAA SVP of public policy and Latin music Rafael Fernandez Jr. noted the “new generation of stars” fueling the genre’s commercial expansion.

“Latin music has exploded in the U.S. over the last decade as a new generation of stars boosts the genre and streaming puts this dynamic sector at everyone’s fingertips,” the RIAA exec of more than 23 years said in part. “No longer limited by language, access or outdated assumptions – Latin artists are shaping our culture as fans gravitate towards the spirit of this music, propelling faster growth than all other listening and expanding our horizons further every year.”

Predictably, a number of industry players are working to capitalize on Latin’s growing revenue not only in the States, but on the global stage.

In November of 2023, Hybe branched into Latin with the purchase of Exile Music, for instance, before entertainment-investment company MediaNet Partners in December announced a $20 million catalog-acquisition fund geared specifically towards the genre.

Then, 2024 kicked off with Universal Music Group’s Saban Music Latin buyout, and earlier in April, Gustavo Lopez, previously Saban’s CEO, launched a full-service music and entertainment company called Globalatino Music Partners.