Online Streaming Pushed Latin Tunes to the Mainstream in 2017| 26 February, 2018
Last year, Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin and French producer Willy William became famous worldwide after the release of their hit “Mi Gente”. The song, a mix of reggaeton, hip-hop, reggae, and rap, has topped the charts on Spotify for weeks and gathered more than 1.5 billion views on YouTube. It was a song very popular in most English-speaking countries, too, which was a surprise for many, considering that its lyrics are almost entirely in Spanish. In the 1990s, Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin released a song called “Maria” on his album Vuelve – the original version (entirely in Spanish), included on the album, was mostly unknown in the Western world, while its single version, faster and with English lyrics, was his breakthrough performance, turning him into one of the biggest Latin stars of the 1990s. But now things have changed. Last year, at least half of YouTube’s top ten music videos are predominantly performed by Latin artists, in Spanish. And the increasingly connected world is the “blame”.
Smartphones are good for more than just real money online gambling at 7 Sultans casino, they also bring a world of music within the reach of people. And this is very important for the Latin audience, according to Spotify global cultures head Rocio Guerrero. Latin Americans are more likely to listen to radios than to own an iPod, and for them, streaming is a “natural fit”. According to The Economist, Mexico and Brazil are now among Spotify’s top markets by music stream volume. And the region, in general, has seen a whopping 57% growth in streaming revenue.
Being included in a popular playlist on Spotify can significantly boost the popularity of artists. One of them, called “Baila Reggaeton”, is the third most popular playlist of the streaming service, and including an artist on that can propel an otherwise relatively unknown song to the Spotify’s global charts. And labels keep an eye on these charts, too. The Spanish version of “Despacito” was already popular in Latin countries when Justin Bieber, after hearing it in a club in Bogotá, asked if he could “jump on the track”. The resulting hybrid, released last April, became the most streamed song ever (so far, of course).
While Latin music doesn’t sell too well in the US (it only accounts for about 2% of songs and albums sold) it is a big hit when it comes to streaming, capturing 8% of all music streams in the US. And it will continue to grow as Latin music keeps pouring out into the world and attracting fans – especially teenagers.
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