One-third of the Top 100 YouTube acts are Latin: Here’s what that tells us
As Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s official music video for ‘Despacito’ overtakes Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’ as the most viewed YouTube video of all time, Latin artists continue to make their mark, accounting for more than a third of the Top 100 most-viewed musicians so far this year.
Artists from the region are experiencing exponential global growth, according to YouTube. Monthly views in surprising markets around the world have increased massively – as much as 940% in Indonesia, for example – while the UK, France and Egypt have also seen significant viewing growth.
Latin artists such as Ozuna, Nicky Jam and Maluma have accumulated more than 1 billion views each so far in 2017.
Fonsi’s official YouTube channel has earned an extra 754 million views over the last 30 days, an increase of just over 13% on the previous period. During this time, ‘Despacito’ tipped over 3 billion views, making it the first YouTube video in history to achieve the feat.
Compare these numbers with YouTube heavyweights Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. Bieber added an extra 234 million views last month. Perry outdid Bieber with 388 million views over that corresponding period, but that equates to only half of Fonsi’s numbers.
It took just 203 days for ‘Despacito’ to become the most-viewed YouTube video ever, compared to the two-and-a-half years it took Wiz Khalifa to overtake previous record-holder ‘Gangnam Style’ by PSY.
Naturally, the official music video remains #1 on both the Australian and international YouTube charts and hasn’t looked like budging since the song first hit the summit in January.
While ‘Despacito’ is the standout story of 2017, Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin and Willy William’s Universal-backed hit ‘Mi Gente’ has been racking up over 9 million views a day since its release and sits at #1 on Spotify’s international chart with over 165 million streams, and counting. It’s official music video is closing in on half a billion views.
Videos are perhaps the most essential element to the success of both ‘Despacito’ and ‘Mi Gente’, fuelled by its earliest reception in Latin markets.
However, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. With the help of carefully curated label strategies (orchestrated by Universal in the region), streaming swoops in as a launching pad out of the Latin world.
It’s something that didn’t happen as frequently, and with as much force, before the streaming phenomena. Latin songs were just as popular among local audiences, but due to the overwhelming proportion of piracy, there was no concrete evidence to suggest that songs were being consumed on a commercial level.
Data available on services like Spotify and Apple Music give an instantaneous, raw and accurate portrayal of a song’s life, including where it’s been streamed, what time of the day, and who’s streaming it –- data that is also of high value to radio stations, both locally and internationally.
With the rise of streaming, label resources, and a latchkey to radio, many more crossover success stories out of the Latin world are bound to follow.