The 2017 Billboard Latin Music Conference officially kicks off its 28th anniversary edition today (April 24) with record registration and a series of high profile industry and artist panels that include superstars Maluma, Nicky Jam, J Balvin, Miguel Bosé and Residente, as well as executives like Sony/ATV's Danny Strick and Jorge Mejía, ASCAP's Gabriela Gonzalez, CMN CEO Henry Cardenas, Spotify's Rocío Guerrero, musical.ly's Stefan Heinrich and managers Walter Kolm, Juan Diego Medina and Jorge Juarez.
Taking place at the Ritz Carlton in Miami Beach, the conference is the largest and longest-running event dedicated to Latin music, and serves as the prelude to the Billboard Latin Music Awards, which will air live on the Telemundo Network on Thursday, April 27.
The conference officially starts today with a series of one-on-one industry meetings and, later in the evening, artist showcases around the city. Panel discussions kick off Tuesday and will run through Wednesday, April 26.
Here are some key panel events that will set the tone for this year.
TUESDAY, APRIL 25
The Industry Keynote Masterclass with Strick, co-president of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Mejia, president of Sony/ATV Music Publishing Latin America and U.S. Latin: With publishing becoming an ever important force in the age of streaming and licensing, Strick and Mejía will provide the blueprint for cross-border and cross-cultural success. The masterclass officially kicks off the conference April 25.
Latin Music Streaming Explosion: If streaming is a key factor in Latin music's current chart dominance (witness the success of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito") these players will discuss how the revolution came about. The panel discussion, moderated by Billboard's editorial director Mike Bruno, will feature content heads from Spotify, Deezer, Stingray, YouTube and Music Choice.
Socializing Maluma: Perhaps the single most successful Latin act in social media today, Colombian star Maluma will sit down for a conversation on how exactly he works his social media, including those 23.3 million Instagram followers.
Pop + Urban: Latin charts are dominated by a fusion of reggaeton and pop music. The artists leading the fray include Wisin, who has produced CNCO and collaborated with Enrique Iglesias and Chayanne; newcomer Ozuna, who has multiple videos on YouTube's top 100; pop trio Reik; Colombian vallenato star Silvestre Dangond; and Colombian earthy trio Choc Quib Town, whose collabs range from Carlos Vives to Melendi. Directing the conversation is newly-appointed iHeartRadio chairman Enrique Santos.
The Marketing Exchange: The annual programming block will focus on the intersection of music, television and brands, with panels on memoirs and biopics featuring stars like Chiquis Rivera and Ednita Nazario and a showcase featuring branding case studies from the likes of Sprint, Buchanan's and Constellations Brands.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26
Power Players: The day kicks off with four Power Players featured on Billboard's recent Latin Power Player's list, discussing the paradigm shift in the Latin music business model.
Star Q&As: The day will be punctuated by exclusive Q&A sessions with legendary Spanish singer/songwriter Miguel Bosé; iconoclast star Residente, who is re-imagining the role of Latin artists in affecting social change; and the "mano a mano" between Nicky Jam and J Balvin, emulating the current Billboard magazine cover story.
The Making of a Hit: In a novel departure, programming heads from Univision and SBS, the biggest radio networks in the country, will listen and analyze new music live for artists. Selections were chosen from nearly 100 submitted to Billboard.
Latin Trap: The newest trend in Latin music will be recognized in the first-ever Latin trap panel, featuring major stars like Farruko, Noriel and Bryant Myers.
Top Songwriters: Already a Billboard tradition, the top songwriters on the chart will come together to tell the stories behind their hits. Panelists include Erika Ender, composer of current No. 1 Latin hit "Despacito," as well as Joss Favela, Manuel Medrano and BMI songwriter of the year Horacio Palencia.
Latinxx: This year's conference ends with a panel that blends art and activism. Panelists include Women's March co-founder Carmen Perez and artists Jackie Cruz and Becky G.