Bad Bunny Leads the Way as Latin Streaming Numbers Surpass Country for the First Time Ever

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As Bad Bunny’s “Un Verano Sin Ti” continues to take the charts by storm, the new album becomes the leading catalyst for the Latin genre’s streaming push. In a historic shift, “Un Verano Sin Ti” has claimed 18% of all U.S. Latin on-demand streams and has propelled the category’s streaming market share past country for the first time ever.

Last week (ending May 12) was Latin’s highest streaming week to date with over 1.8 billion weekly ODA streams, according to Luminate via Billboard.

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That figure surpasses any weekly streaming total that the country genre has ever had to date. This means that, for the week, at least, the Latin genre jumped up to take country’s place as the fourth most on-demand streamed genre in the U.S.

Since its May 6 release, the Puerto Rican singer has broken the record of the biggest week for any Latin music album, tallying 274,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S.

“Un Verano Sin Ti” also marks the second time an all-Spanish album has topped the Billboard 200 — the first one was also at the hands of Bad Bunny for his 2020 album, “El Último Tour del Mundo.”

Another victory for Latin music this week: for the first time ever, two all-Spanish-language albums have landed in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 simultaneously. Further, Eslabon Armado’s “Nostalgia” debuts at No. 9 on the chart, commemorating the first time a regional Mexican album has acquired a top 10 spot.

Both Bad Bunny and Eslabon’s monumental achievements are representative of the current evolution of Latin audience listening trends. According to Luminate via Billboard, Latin gained more than any other genre last year, growing its market share to 5.39% (up 9% from 4.95% of the market in 2019).

In contrast, country music experienced a minor bump in the market share from 7.91% in 2019 to 8.09% in 2021. Where Latin’s growth is driven by streaming, country has seen slower streaming growth.

While the huge bump for Latin music in the last chart week was largely driven by the success of a single album —  Bad Bunny’s — country music has been reliant to an extent on a single album for its much more modest gain in the last year and a half, which has largely been propelled by the blockbuster success of Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album.”

As Wallen’s album inevitably wanes in its ongoing impact, and with the next likely country blockbuster (Luke Combs’ June 24 release “Growin’ Up”) more than a month away, Latin music stands a good chance of holding onto its newfound fourth-place streaming status in the coming weeks, if not months.

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