From the Spanish-speaking markets, including Mexico up north, Argentina in the south, via Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Chile, to the Portuguese-speaking mega economy of Brazil, the Latin American music market is currently home to some of the world’s biggest music hits.

Midem Music Pulse – Which Factors Led to Latin Music Growth?

From toping global charts, to selling out stadiums all around the world and inking worldwide branding deals, Latin artists have embraced new music consumption models and truly redefined today’s music landscape. Here’s how Latin music succeeded in going global.

Midem Music Pulse helps you understand the main challenges and key trends shaping the future of the international music business via exclusive content from the Midem conference programme.

Every month, Midem conference team offers you a curated eye on Midem conference programme, to discover insightful business tips, key facts and global strategies on vibrant topics of the music industry.

Discover the 5 ways latin music has become global!

WP Latin America

1. Streaming has made Latin music available to global audiences

“Latin, just because of the economics, is having a more important seat at the table now. And that has to do mainly with streaming. If you look at Spotify, 20% of the subscriber basis is Latin so roughly out of the 200 million people that they have, 40 million or so are Latin listening to mainly Latin content. And that’s just the subscribers. What that does is that when you have a big single that’s been pushed up the charts by 20% of the base, it pushes it up through the algorithms into the charts around the world. So that alone is part of the reason why we’re seeing a prevalence of Latin music and why, when the economics are factored in, the perception is changing.” Jorge Mejia, President, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Latin America (China)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 Latin American Forum session “A Talk with Jorge Mejia, President, Sony/ATV Music Publishing Latin America”. Recently designated Latin Publisher of the year from performing rights organizations SESAC and BMI, Mejia extended a worldwide deal with Fonsi, the latest in a string of renewals he has brokered with Sony/ATV talent, and post “Despacito”, the Colombia native is now setting his sights on collaborations. In this unique Q&A he discusses what lays ahead for Latin music globally, at a time where digital is multiplying Latin artists’ reach and new markets across the continent becoming more and more active.


2. Urban music and Reggaeton are now today’s mainstream pop

“With J Balvin, when I started with him, he had never been on the radio outside of Colombia, everybody told him that he would never make it because reggaeton doesn’t come from Colombia. People wouldn’t give him a chance, they wouldn’t do any featurings with him, producers wouldn’t work with him. That’s when I met him and we changed that story. I think at the end of the day that Jose has magic. There’s that X factor. What happened with him is that Colombians speak the most proper Spanish in the region, they took this reggaeton beat and made it much more universal. I believe that was instrumental in mainstreaming reggaeton and kicked down the door for everybody that came after him. He’s got great music, he’s charismatic, he works so hard and it was all strategy.” – Rebeca León, CEO & Co-Founder, Lionfish Entertainment (USA)

This quote is excerpted from Rebeca León’s keynote at Midem 2019. Still one of the few female managers in the business, especially in the Latin industry, she is considered as a true force and visionary, having represented Latin superstars J Balvin, Juanes and Latin music’s fastest-rising star, Rosalía. She is a tireless advocate for women in the latin music business, always striving to create opportunities for young women. Her keynote focuses on female empowerment in the music industry, offering an invaluable insight into being a female executive in today’s music ecosystem and breaking Latin music with its diverse cultures into the global mainstream.

3. Latin audiences are the most engaged music fans in the world

“Labels’ mission is to provide the best services to artists, and streamers’ mission is to provide the best service to consumers, so when streamers get close to artists, it’s to leverage them as marketing tools to get closer to consumers.”David Price, Director of Insight & Analysis, IFPI (UK)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 “Rapid Growth, Streaming Future – Recorded Music Consumption in Latin America” presentation. David Price, IFPI’s Director of Insight and Analysis, presents material on recorded music revenues and music consumption in Latin America, the fastest growing region worldwide, focusing on the ways in which streaming drives music engagement.

4. Artists are collaborating and helping each other reach wider audiences

“We’re seeing more collaborations between artists. When you see the likes of J Balvin singing with Beyoncé, when you see Justin Bieber with Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi and all of those. When you start seeing those collaborations, it makes Latin more visible. Particularily in North America and in the US, a long time ago it was a scene, being Latino. Now, it’s not, it’s actually cool! Now, we’re all back to speaking Spanish and feeling happy about our heritage… and that is contagious.”Jorge Rincon, VP Americas, Deezer (USA)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 Latin American Forum “A Unified Latin Music Market to Foster the Internationalisation of Latin Music” panel. This session anwers the following questions: what is the next frontier for Latin music and its industry? With Latin urban artists dominating the charts, how can other regional genres gain visibility internationally? And how can connections between Latin music executives be strengthened to facilitate such growth throughout the region and include new Latin music markets?

5. One-hit wonders are a thing of the past and Latin artists are touring the world

“There are thousands of Latin artists touring the world and earning money from Europe, from Asia, from North America. We have to look around and not just the hits.” – Ana Cristina Falcao, CEO, Cada Instante (Brazil)

This quote is excerpted from Midem 2019 Latin American Forum panel “Putting Brazil (Back) on the Global Music Map”, looking at how can Brazil’s music creation reach international audiences on the long-run and move away from one hit wonders and is Baile Funk the answer?


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