U.S. Latin music revenue increased 15% to a record high of $627 million in the first half of 2023, according to the RIAA’s mid-year Latin music report released Wednesday (Sept. 27).
The new milestone for the genre follows Latin music revenue hitting an all-time high last year, exceeding the $1 billion mark with 24% growth that outpaced the overall market.
According to the report, streaming continued to drive an “overwhelming” portion of the genre’s growth, accounting for 98% of revenue. Latin music’s share of overall U.S. recorded music revenue grew from 7.1% in the first half of 2022 to a new pinnacle of 7.5% in the first half of 2023.
“U.S. Latin music revenues reached an all-time high in 2022, and the growth has continued mid-year into 2023. This has been driven by both the vitality of classic hits and chart-topping new releases that have influenced broader culture and society,” said RIAA senior vp of public policy & industry relations Rafael Fernandez in a statement.
Latin music’s growth over the past two years has been driven by the success not only of Bad Bunny — who ended 2022 as the most streamed artist in the United States and around the world — but also artists such as Karol G, who earlier this year made history with Mañana Será Bonito. In March, the 17-track set became the first all-Spanish language album by a Latin female artist to top the Billboard 200.
A new wave of música mexicana acts such as Peso Pluma, Fuerza Regida and Eslabon Armado have also helped usher in a record year for regional Mexican music. Earlier this year, Billboard reported that consumption for the genre jumped 42.1% through May 25, according to Luminate.
The RIAA’s mid-year report further explains that ad-supported on-demand music streaming revenue (from services like YouTube, the free version of Spotify and social media platforms) continued to make up a larger percentage of revenue for Latin music (23%) than for U.S. recorded music overall (10%).
Meanwhile, revenue from digital and customized radio services (such as Pandora, SiriusXM and internet radio services) grew 13% to $36 million — rebounding from a 5% decrease in 2022 — making up 6% of total Latin music revenue. However, physical formats totaled less than 1% of revenue at $4.7 million, resulting in a 37% decline from the first half of 2022.