Who’s Listening to Latin Music? And What Are They Listening To?

by Erica Saylor, Tr3s

In last week’s blog post, we highlighted the importance of music in Latino young adults’ lives. This week, we turn to the listeners themselves. Which artists and genres are their favorites? And what are the demographics of this audience overall?

Tr3s has answers from its report on Latin music listeners, “Hispanic Young Adults Today: Exploring Latinicity through Music,” which draws from numerous quantitative and qualitative studies commissioned by Tr3s, as well as Experian Simmons and Latino Intelligence. Here are key findings from that study:

Favorite music celebrities among Hispanics 18-34 are mostly Latino. Just 2 of the top 10 music celebrities were not Latino (Beyonce and Drake). The others in the top 10 were Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Jenni Rivera, Marc Anthony, Pitbull, Selena, Romeo Santos, and Daddy Yankee.

Latin music listeners 18-34 have different genre preferences than listeners over 35. Regional Mexican is the top genre among 18-34s (42%), while the top genres for listeners over 35 are Salsa/Merengue (40%) and Latin Ballads/Romantic (39%). Several genres are in the top 10 among 18-34s but not over-35s: Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B, and Pop. However, several are in the top 10 among both groups: Regional Mexican, Salsa/Merengue, and Latin Rock.

Most Latin music listeners 18-34 have multiple favorite genres. They have a hard time committing to just one genre above others  – 81% list at least 3 genres as their favorite.

Latin music listeners who are over 18 skew female, 18-34, and bilingual. Well over half (56%) of adult Latin music listeners are female. The audience skews young – 41% are 18-34, 32% are 35-49, and 27% are over 50. Additionally, nearly 7 in 10 Latin music listeners 18-34 speak a combination of Spanish and English (and just shy of 1 in 5 speak Spanish only).

Though first-generation Hispanics represent the majority of the 18-34 Latin music audience, Latin music still resonates with second- and even third-generation Hispanics. Both first-generation (foreign-born) and second-generation 18-34s over-index in Latin music listening, with the foreign-born segment representing 58% of the audience and second-generation accounting for 28%. Third-generation Hispanics are a smaller piece of the audience (13%).

A majority of Latin music listeners 18-34 are in the Pacific and Southwest regions. Nearly 6 in 10 are in these two Western territories, with 36% in the Pacific and 23% in the Southwest. The East Coast accounts for about a quarter of the Latin music audience, and less than a fifth are in the Central region.

Source: Tr3s Ipsos/OTX Tracking Study (2007-2013); Experian Simmons NHCS (Fall 2012); Latino Intelligence (2008); “Cooltura” Panel (2007-2013); Music Focus Groups (2010); Tr3s Hispanic Digital Study (2010); Tr3s Hispanic Millennial Study (2010-2012)

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