The Rise of Latin Music and Streaming

This past week I was in Miami during the Billboard Latin Music Awards. Miami is the center of Latin music world today, being the center of a global music genre. Latin music certainly used to be a niche, but it has crossed over to mainstream music world as now it amounts to 2.8 percent of the total $8.7 billion U.S. music market. It is also the fastest growing genre in the U.S. as Latin music revenues in the United States skyrocketed last year, growing 37 percent to $243 million.


This growth is directly related to the rise of streaming, as Latin music’s streaming revenue grew 54 percent year-over-year, reaching a record high of $204 million and amounting for 84 percent of total Latin revenues. Among this streaming income, paid subscription streams were up 83 percent and accounted for 49 percent of Latin’s total streaming revenues according to Billboard.

So, it is safe to say that more than any other genre, the growth in streaming is powering Latin music’s worldwide takeover.


Besides North America, growth was seen across the whole Latin American region, most notably in Peru (21.7 percent), Brazil (17.9), Chile (14.3 percent), Colombia (10.5 percent) and Mexico (7.9 percent) in 2017. Also, in music in Spain also hiked up 9 percent.

What this means is that there are millions of music fans that have just joined the market from Latin America and Spain. This phenomena is influencing many independent and mainstream artists to now collaborate with Latin genre artists and to record songs in Spanish, which was not the case until a few years ago. Certainly, this decision comes from the success of Despacito, as we all saw how a song from a Spanish language urban-pop track from a Puerto Rican artist who was relatively unknown outside Spain and Latin America topped the charts in 47 countries worldwide.


As independent artists, we should always be on the lookout for learning from different cultures for new ideas, but I think this is an especially exciting time to witness the rise of Latin music. As a producer and composer, I always encourage people to collaborate with musicians and artists  from various cultures and genres to create original work and now it seems to be the perfect moment to do it.

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Alper Tuzcu is a Berklee College of Music and Denison University alumni, and a Boston based guitarist, songwriter and producer. His new EP ‘Lines’ was released on November 2017 and his debut eclectic album ‘Between 12 Waters’ featuring 8 different vocalists is available on Spotify. In addition to being a musician, he regularly teaches workshops and masterclasses internationally. You can follow him on Instagram or Twitter, and for more information you can visit his website


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