Latin music is on course to generate over $1 billion in the US in 2022

Bad Bunny was Spotify's most streamed artist globally in 2020 and 2021

We’re gonna call this one early: MBW today predicts that the recorded music market for Latin artists in the United States will generate more than a billion dollars in revenue across the 12 months of 2022.

We’re feeling confident in this forecast because of new data released today (April 12) in a report from the RIAA, which shows that Latin music generated $886.1 million on a retail basis in the US in 2021.

That $886.1 million haul was up by more than a third (+35.4%) on Latin music’s revenues in the US in the prior year.

This annual revenue figure will now only have to rise by a further 12.9% (+$114m) in 2022 to hit the magic billion-dollar mark.

Considering that Latin music’s US revenues rose by 19.6% YoY in 2020 and by 28.5% YoY in 2019, the smart money’s on the category finally bursting through the billion-dollar threshold in 2022.

Latin music’s $886 million in retail revenues in 2021 meant that it claimed a market share of 5.91% in terms of the overall US recorded music industry, according to MBW calculations.

(See below; our calculations are based on data in both the RIAA‘s year-end Latin report, and in the org’s year-end wider US industry report.)

The 5.91% US market share achieved by Latin music in 2021 was greater than that the category achieved in both 2020 (5.39%) and in 2019 (4.96%).

Indeed, if we go back five years to 2017, Latin music claimed a mere 3.97% of a (then much smaller) US recorded music market, according to MBW’s reading of RIAA data.

streaming formats

Driven by superstars like Bad Bunny, Becky G, and Anitta, streaming revenues from Latin Music in the US totalled $857 million in 2021, according to the RIAA – making up 97% of total Latin revenues.

This $857 million figure, which was up 36% YoY, includes all types of streaming income, including:

  • Advertising on both interactive and non-interactive platforms
  • Premium subscription platforms, as well as ‘limited tier’ paid-for platforms
  • Both video (YouTube etc.) and audio (Spotify etc.) platforms.

Across these streaming platform types, RIAA data analyzed by MBW shows that Latin music achieved a 6.89% US streaming market share last year (see below).

In other words, of every dollar generated by the US streaming record industry last year, around one in every 14 was generated by Latin music.

That 2021 streaming market share (6.89%) was greater than Latin’s equivalent US market share in both 2020 (6.27%) and in 2019 (5.93%).

Paid music subscriptions

Drilling down deeper, paid music streaming subscriptions continued to be the biggest driver of Latin music revenue growth last year.

Latin Music’s revenues from paid subscriptions grew 35.0% to $593 million in 2021, according to the latest RIAA numbers. Paid-for streaming users therefore accounted for more than two-thirds of all US Latin music revenues in 2021.

This money was generated by both full ‘Premium’ subscriptions (to Spotify Premium, Apple Music etc.) and ‘limited tier’ subscriptions to restricted-catalog services (pad-for platforms with interactivity limitations by availability, device restriction, catalog limitations, on demand access, or other factors).

MBW’s calculations of the RIAA data reveal that Latin music claimed a 6.25% market share of all revenue generated on paid subscription services (including ‘limited tier’) in the US in 2021.

That was up on 5.68% in 2020, and up on 5.06% in 2019 (see below).

Ad-supported, on-demand streaming platforms

Finally, let’s take a look at a long-time stronghold for Latin music in the US: ad-supported, on-demand streaming platforms – including YouTube and Spotify’s free tier.

Across this type of streaming platform, Latin music generated $187 million in the US in 2021, up 46.1% year-on-year.

According to MBW’s analysis of RIAA figures, this meant that Latin music accounted for 10.62% of all revenue generated by such platforms in the States last year.

That 10.62% market share was slightly down on the 10.67% market share achieved in 2020, but you have to take into account the huge general growth in ad-funded revenue for the US record industry last year.

The overall amount of revenue generated by the US recording industry on interactive ad-funded platforms last year stood at $1.76 billion, up by more than $550 million year-on-year.

Discussing the numbers in the latest RIAA year-end Latin report, Michèle Ballantyne, COO, RIAA, said: “Latin music continues to rise – powering the overall music market and reporting its highest revenue figure in history last year at $886 million.

“With growth of 35% – far surpassing the overall growth rate for recorded music revenues – Latin music is connecting with fans in a historic way.

“Latin music continues to rise – powering the overall music market and reporting its highest revenue figure in history last year at $886 million.”

Michèle Ballantyne, RIAA

“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.

“RIAA is proud to celebrate the cultural power and creative and commercial success of Latin music reflected in this report – and salutes the incredibly talented artists and label teams that gave us so much in 2021.”Music Business Worldwide