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BEHIND LATIN'S STREAMING SURGE: PART I

While the reggaeton and urbano genres, led by Latin superstars Bad Bunny, Karol G. and J. Balvin, have spearheaded global growth for Spanish-language streaming, a new wave of artists and subgenres is breaking through.

At Spotify and Apple Music, programmers have detected a trend of territorial favorites—from Mexican corridos and sierreños to the hybrid hip-hop now sizzling in Argentina—joining genre leaders like Chilean reggaeton and Puerto Rican and Colombian urbano.

“We've started seeing other Latin genres reaching new heights, especially within regional Mexican, Latin pop, R&B and dance,” observes Spotify Head of U.S. Latin Editorial Antonio Vázquez. “This trend is a testament to the maturity of the genre, allowing a wider spectrum of sounds to permeate the mainstream.”

Vázquez points to examples like Rauw Alejandro’s “Todo de Ti” (which peaked at #2 on the global chart), Kali Uchis’ “Telepatía” (#2), Gera MX & Christian Nodal’s “Botella Tras Botella” (#4), Farruko’s “Pepas” (#3) and, most recently, ROSALÍA’s “Despechá” (#6).

The Latin streaming surge isn’t just a momentary boom, and it isn’t bound to one region; it’s a reflection of a giant base of devoted listeners, from Europe to the Americas, who've adopted streaming—and whether the material is in English or Spanish doesn’t seem to matter much anymore.

Argentine producer Bizarrap, who blends EDM with Latin trap, has spent 25 days at #1 on Spotify’s global chart with “Bzrp Music Sessions Vol. 52" f/Quevedo, occupying the #1 spot longer than any record this year except Harry Styles’ “As It Was” and Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves.”

More global territories than ever contribute to the worldwide Top 50. “Latin music is taking over the Top 50 charts like never before,” offers Spotify Head of Artist & Label Partnerships, LATAM & U.S. Latin, Maykol Sanchez. “Today [7/31], the Spotify global Top 50 has 15 Latin tracks. While historically the top-charting Latin tracks would mostly come from Puerto Rican and Colombian artists, and although they are still predominant, the charts have a much more diverse lineup of artists from all over Latin America.”

Coming in part two: Música Mexicana streams up a storm.

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