Sometimes it only takes a few numbers to confirm what we’ve always known: Spanish-language music has been and will always be part of the fabric of the U.S. musical landscape. A new report from data company BuzzAngle, which measures music consumption, says that Latin music outpaced consumption of country music in 2018. According to NBC News, country albums are typically among the top five albums in the U.S. In 2018, Latin music accounted for 9.4 percent of all album listening, while country music ranked at 8.7 percent.
And as Vibe reports, individual songs have also surged in popularity; consumption increased from 9.5 percent to 10.8 percent in 2018, while country music clocked in at 7.8 percent. While it’s not clear what genres fall into the imprecise umbrella label of “Latin,” it’s likely that reggaeton’s domination in Latin American pop markets accounts for a large part of the data.
As we’ve written before, the surge in consumption of Spanish-language music is due in no small part to streaming. Spotify’s landmark “Baila Reggaeton” playlist is largely considered one of the sparks of this uptick in streaming, and reggaeton continues to dominate the YouTube charts. In 2018 alone, eight of the 10 most-viewed music videos on YouTube came from Latino artists. And with more bookings at major national festivals like Coachella, it seems like it’s only up from here.