RIAA Reports Record $1.1B Revenue for Latin Music in U.S.

Becky G performs onstage at Calibash Latin Music Festival at Crypto.com Arena on Jan. 22 in Los Angeles, California. The singer has contributed to Latin music’s success on streaming platforms with hits such as “MAMIII,” a collaboration with Karol G. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

The music executives have been saying it for years and recent data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) proves it: Latin music is a major force in all facets of the music industry. Not only did Puertorriqueñno Bad Bunny set the all-time touring record in 2022 by grossing $435 million, but the broad genre that is Latin music broke records in retail, generating never-before-seen revenues totaling $1.1 billion and outpacing the overall industry with an increase of 24% compared to 2021.

“When Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti became the first non-English language album to ever top the Billboard 200 or Becky G, Daddy Yankee, Jhayco, Karol G, Luis Miguel, Rosalía and Sofía Reyes hit the mainstream, it was clear Latin music’s hot streak was just lighting up,” Rafael Fernandez Jr., RIAA SVP of State Public Policy and Industry Relations, says in a statement. “U.S. Latin music revenues in 2022 exceeded $1 billion for the first time and grew significantly faster than the broader industry. That sustained expansion speaks to an openness to new artists, music and ways of listening. As the son of Cuban immigrants, my earliest musical memories are that of Latin origins from Lalo Rodrigues to Eddie Ruiz so to see this genre that was so defining for me early on, and throughout my career connecting policymakers to support the culture, reaching these heights is truly remarkable.”

See: Bad Bunny Sets All-Time Touring Record Grossing $435M In A Calendar Year

RIAA’s annual review shows that Latin music has an all-time high of 6.9% market share and 97.6% of revenue ($1.06 billion) came from streaming platforms. Paid subscriptions such as Spotify and Apple Music accounted for 71% of streaming revenue at $758 million, and ad-supported, on-demand streams from platforms such as YouTube saw double-digit growth for a second consecutive year at 24%. Vinyl sales also grew significantly in 2022 to $9.1 million.

2022 RIAA YearEnd Latin Charts 03

However, digital downloads fell 15% and revenues from digital and customized services such as SiriusXM, Pandora and internet radio also saw a dip of 5%.

The report supports what music executives who work in the Latin music space have been saying for years. Hans Schafer, SVP of Global Touring at Live Nation, recently told Pollstar that the cultural revolution in the music industry “has been happening” and brewing for years, and it culminated in 2022 with remarkable touring numbers from artists such as Bad Bunny, Daddy Yankee and Karol G.

See: The Year in Latin — Una Revolución Cultural

“Those of us who have been in the game for 20 years or so, we’ve seen this growth,” Schafer, who had a hand in Bad Bunny’s record-breaking touring run in 2022, said last November. “Yes, there’s been an explosion this year, but there was an explosion in 2017 and another one in 2018 and another one in 2019. It just continues to grow.

“I would say the trees that bear the best fruit are those that grow slowly, and I think that’s true of Latin music,” Schafer added. “It’s been a slow and steady growth and now is when we’ve seen really that fruit come to bear, and it’s going to continue. … I think data is a big driver of that. The ability to quantify the growth is only acknowledging what we’ve always known. It’s always been there.”