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The Importance of the Latin Music Entertainment Market (part 1)

September 9, 2013

by Peggy Dold

The Importance of the Latin Music Entertainment Market
{Why it is crucial to connect the dots between the consumer, music discovery, music consumption, and copyright monetization}

As one who has worked in the Latin Music market since 1998, I have experienced first-hand the extreme changes the Latin Music industry has endured, both inside and outside the United States. Regardless of the recent catastrophic decline in physical recorded-music album sales, I believe that for professionals in the Music Publishing industry, the Latin Music market matters -- now, more than ever.

Because the Latin Music market is fragmented (demographically, musically, geographically, historically, and more), there is simply too much information to share in this short guest-post. For that reason, I have structured this information over a series of posts and tried to provide detailed information about why this market is more relevant than ever for everyone in the music ecosystem. {Data sources are listed at the end.}

The U.S. Latin Music Market: The Silos Are About to Become Extinct


Historically, the U.S. music industry treated the U.S. Latin Music market as a separate, segregated silo from the rest of the music industry.

That was an efficient and logical business structure:  Spanish-language music was marketed to Spanish-language consumers via Spanish-language media, both inside and outside the United States. Specialized music companies and staff were required to work with Talent to A&R/produce the music and assets for the market (videos, photos, etc.), promote to radio, generate publicity via Hispanic print and broadcast media, work with independent Latin distributors and retail buyers, and seek opportunities with live-event producers and concert promoters.

Music publishers of Spanish-language repertoire, whose goals have always been to exploit and collect from compositions they control, have also historically targeted the Spanish-language market for income, whether via Spanish-language media or through the sale of master recordings.

By 2013, however, the Spanish-language music market and consumer media habits have changed so radically, it is time to re-examine the realities of the Spanish-language music market so that music publishers can better anticipate where new and increased opportunities may lead to the monetization of music compositions.

The U.S. Hispanic Market – Radio

I believe that looking at the state of Radio in the United States provides as good a barometer as any of the expansion, opportunity, and growth of the Latin Music market.

Arbitron’s study, Hispanic Radio Today 2013, found that:

•    95% of U.S. Hispanic consumers tune in to radio in an average week, a larger percentage than other ethnic groups they measured

•    Mexican Regional format remains the most popular choice of U.S. Hispanic listeners by nearly TWICE the share of the second-largest format (Spanish Contemporary/Spanish Hot AC)

As noted by Eric Rhoads, Chairman/Publisher of Radio Ink and Radio Television Business Report:

“A giant piece of radio’s future will be determined by Hispanic audiences.”

He adds that Hispanic radio is the only growth segment in radio today.

The U.S. Hispanic Market Consumer – Demographics

U.S. Hispanic Market Information

We all know that the U.S. Hispanic market is the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, with a population of more than 50M. Listed below are the 5 largest market areas by Hispanic population. They have long been established as key markets for the monetization of Spanish-language Entertainment:

•    Los Angeles
•    New York City
•    Houston
•    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale
•    Chicago

But did you know that, according to Nielsen, the Hispanic population is growing the fastest in these 10 markets (% of growth from 2000-2013)?

•    Charlotte, NC (168%)
•    Raleigh area, NC (138.9%)
•    Atlanta, GA (126.9%)
•    Orlando area, FLA (125.1%)
•    Ft. Myers/Naples, FLA (123%)
•    Oklahoma City (119.2%)
•    Tampa area (112.2%)
•    West Palm Beach area (110.9%)
•    Seattle-Tacoma (108.3%)
•    WDC area (108.1%)

Furthermore, in the United States 2 out of 5 Hispanics are foreign born (2010 Census).

U.S. Hispanics by National Heritage:

According to 2010 data examined by the Pew Hispanic Center, there are 50.7M documented Latinos in the United States. Of these:

•    32.9M are Mexican
•    4.7M are Puerto Rican
•    1.9M are Cuban
•    1.8M are Salvadoran
•    1.5M are Dominican
•    1.1M are Guatemalan
•    972K are Colombian
•    731K are Honduran

U.S. Hispanics by Age Group:

Census Bureau data also show births, rather than immigration, as the principal driver of Hispanic population growth. The result is a generation of U.S. Hispanics who are bilingual, bicultural, and American.

o    More than 60% of the Hispanic population is under 35 years old
o    The median age is 27 (compared to 36 for the rest of the population)
o    Nearly 34% of U.S. Hispanics will be younger than the age of 18 by 2017 (vs. 24% of the total population)
o    1 in 4 U.S. births today is to a Latina mother

As the data clearly shows, the U.S. Hispanic entertainment market is now more main-stream than “niche”.  In the next installment, we will talk about U.S. Hispanic consumption of Social Media, Mobile, and Entertainment.

Founder and CEO of Navigation Partners LLC, Peggy Dold has in-depth experience in multi-cultural marketing, global expertise in both the English- and Spanish-language entertainment markets, and in working with International media, licensing, and strategic partners worldwide. Current clients represent the sectors of entertainment technology, entertainment superstars, and independent recording artists.  Projects include content development for multi-media distribution as well as business development for new technologies and Talent (for the U.S. General Market, the U.S. Latin Market, and for selected International markets.)

Ms. Dold is also co-Founder and co-CEO of April Sound Entertainment Group, a newly-formed Texas-based company focused on Artist Development, Artist Management, Project Funding, and Music Publishing.

Until Universal Music’s acquisition of the Univision Music Group (May 2008), Ms. Dold was Vice President, International, for the Univision Music Group, at the time, the largest Spanish language music company in the world.

Contact information:  www.navigationpartnersllc.com; peggy@navigationpartnersllc.com.  

{Data collected from:  Nielsen; Hispanic PR Blog; Hispanic Trending; Social Media Monthly; RIAA; Billboard.biz; IFPI Digital Music Report 2013; NGLC; Media Daily News; comScore; ProMusic; Parks Associates; The Next Web; Reuters; VideoAge; US Media Consulting; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Fox News Latino; Lopez Negrete; Insight tr3s; The Media Audit; Pew Hispanic Center.}

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