Latin music’s popularity increased so much during 2018, it surpassed country music in album consumption numbers, according to a new report.
According to a newly-released report from BuzzAngle, a data company that measures music consumption, Latin music’s popularity increased so much it surpassed country music in album consumption numbers.
Previous data from BuzzAngle shows that country music albums are usually part of the top five most consumed albums in the U.S., but that changed in 2018 when Latin music took its place.
The genre is now part of the top five most consumed music albums in the U.S.
Latin music accounted for 9.4 percent of all album listening in the U.S. in 2018, while country only accounted for 8.7 percent.
“I know our numbers,” reggaeton singer Nicky Jam told NBC News in a previous interview. “There’s a new movement now, a new beat, a new sound. It’s where music is going right now.”
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, one of the largest, most famous and most profitable music festivals worldwide, seemed to have picked up on the trend and added many Latin artists to its 2019 lineup — in what could be considered an unprecedented roster of major Latin musicians performing at the festival.
Coachella announced that performers like J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Rosalia, Mon Laferte, Tucanes de Tijuana, Javiera Mena, Tomasa del Real and Ocho Ojos are set to take the prestigious stage in April.
Consumer demand for Latin music has been steadily growing since 2014 after hits like ‘Bailando’ from Enrique Iglesias and ‘El Perdón’ from Nicky Jam reached huge success mainly thanks to the popularity of music streaming services — which currently represent 95 percent of total Latin music consumption, according to BuzzAngle.
Latin artists were responsible for eight of the 10 most viewed videos on the planet in 2018. But Latin music’s striking display of streaming power was not limited strictly to video, according to a new year-end report from BuzzAngle, a data company which tracks music consumption.
The genre accounted for 9.4 percent of all album listening in the U.S. in 2018 — measured by combining physical and digital sales, song downloads (10 downloads is equal to one album) and on-demand streams (1,500 to one). This is notable: The growth means Latin albums are now more popular here than their counterparts in country music, which took up 8.7 percent of all album consumption. (Last year, country’s share of album-listening exceeded Latin music’s, 8.1 percent to 7.5 percent.) Latin artists are off to a strong start in 2019 as well, as fans continue to stream X100Pre, the captivating Christmas Eve release from Puerto Rican star Bad Bunny.
Individual Latin tracks also became more popular, growing from 9.5 percent in 2017 to the new level of 10.8% in 2018. (Country is at 7.9 percent.) However, BuzzAngle does not include passive listening, i.e. radio play, in song consumption — their measure only incorporates sales and on-demand streams. While Latin music outstrips country in those categories, major country radio hits still reach north of 30 million listeners a week. Still, when it comes to on-demand, Latin music is closing in on both R&B (11.2 percent) and rock (11.7 percent). That’s part of the reason why everyone from Cardi B to David Guetta to Drake wanted to collaborate with Spanish-speaking artists this year.
Pivoting back to video: Latin acts accounted for 21.8 percent of all video streams in 2018, second only to rappers. That is significant, because video appears to be gaining in importance in the modern music landscape. On-demand video streams went up 24.3 percent in 2018, accelerating further after a 21.9 percent jump up in 2017. This suggests that Latin music is well positioned to expand on its gains in the coming year.
Nicole Acevedo is a staff reporter at NBC News Digital where she reports, writes and produces content for NBC Latino.