The continued growth of international music is one of the key trends reported in Luminate’s 2023 Midyear Music Report. The report highlights the success of genres like J-Pop, Afrobeats and Regional Mexican in the United States. In today’s Tuesday Takeaway, our resident Regional Mexican fans James Guerra (Customer Success Associate) and Saskia Allan (Sr. Research Analyst) discuss the rise and rise of the genre.
Saskia: Regional Mexican music listenership in the U.S. is practically a perfect case study for the increased popularity of international genres. The causes of such growth are multiple; from streaming becoming the dominant form of music consumption, to short-form video content triggering global viral moments. As music industry players adapted to local markets in order to capture a local audience, they simultaneously flattened barriers in accessing music from all corners of the world. Today, 40% of U.S. music listeners report listening to non-English language music, and Spanish is the 2nd most popular language for music listening.
James: U.S. music consumption trends as of July 13th this year tell a similar story. We are more than halfway through 2023, and the top 3 genres in terms of year-over-year growth in On-Demand Audio streams are international genres, including Afrobeats, K-Pop, and our focus today, Regional Mexican. It is certainly the fastest-growing of the Latin subgenres (up 49% YOY) and has produced some of Latin’s biggest songs this year; Eslabon Armado and Peso Pluma’s “Ella Baila Sola”, a Regional Mexican song, is the most streamed song within the broader Latin genre this year, and “Un x100to”, the Norteño-infused collaboration between Grupo Frontera and perhaps the most well-known contemporary Latin artist, Bad Bunny, demonstrated how a global star has incorporated the sound. Compared to the broader Regional Mexican genre, both of these songs have over-performed in New York City, a market with fewer historical ties to the genre than other parts of the country. Is there any research that helps to explain what is going on here?
Saskia: U.S. Regional Mexican listeners are 83% Hispanic, and +34% more likely than the average music listener to be Millennials. The demographic data shows that cultural ties are a large cause of the genre’s popularity, and is also a reminder that the various genres within Regional Mexican (eg. Banda, Norteño, Tejano) are not new and have always had an audience. What has evolved this year is the 17% of non-Hispanic listeners enjoying the genre, which demonstrates a diversification of the audience and potential that Regional Mexican can go global.
James: On the topic of global, I found it interesting that both “Ella Baila Sola” and “Un x100to” count Mexico, the United States, and Argentina as their top three streaming countries. It illustrates how the diversification of Regional Mexican’s audience is occurring not only in the United States, but also within Latin America. In Argentina specifically, is there some unique factor that explains these songs’ relative popularity compared to the rest of Latin America?
Saskia: I believe short-form video trends might be the cause, as according to our Luminate Insights Music 360 consumer research study, 80% of Argentina’s general population engages with short video clip apps, which is higher than in Mexico, Chile, Colombia or Brazil. Peso Pluma has gone viral more than once on TikTok, most notably for “Ella Baila Sola”.
James: I’d say that the recent debut of Peso Pluma’s album GÉNESIS at #3 on the Billboard 200 (the biggest debut of a Regional Mexican album this year, notching over 90M On-Demand Audio streams in its first week) is yet another high-water mark for a genre that has already experienced so much growth this year. Globally, songs from the album count Mexico, the United States, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile as their top five streaming countries. It’s exciting to see this genre being appreciated by a diverse and ever-growing audience as the year progresses.
Luminate Music Connect
W8 AGT Dashboard. Reg Mex Genre Listener: Banda, Cumbia, Norteña, Tejana, Ranchera. Reggaeton & Latin Trap Listener: Reggaeton, Latin Trap, Latin Urban. Tropical Listener: Salsa, Bachata, Merengue.