Are You Missing Out on the Latin Music Trend?

By Linda Freund · November 14, 2019

The biggest night in Latin music is here: the 20th Latin Grammys!

Over the years, the event has celebrated major stars from Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, to Shakira and this year’s co-host Ricky Martin (who broke the hosting news in a “sleepy-faced” social video).

Companies like Nissan, Oreo, Ritz Crackers, Trident, McDonald’s, T-Mobile, Walmart, and YouTube all think the Latin Grammys are worth paying attention to. Why?

Because Latin music is a surefire genre through which brands can activate audiences in Latin America (LATAM), a diverse region that spans Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and many more Southern and Central American countries.

Brands and media publishers that aren’t targeting this booming region are missing out on opportunities for larger viewership, higher engagement reach, and ultimately, more advertising revenue.

Latin America Is the Next Video Frontier

Let’s start with some data which goes beyond your individual view and engagement counts. These trends often open up the floodgates for brands and media publishers looking to set targets for the next year.

  • The LATAM audience is there: LATAM is home to the third biggest increase in viewership of YouTube videos from the first half of 2018 to the first half of 2019.
  • LATAM is on a total growth path: Mexico and the Dominican Republic experienced a 25% boost in YouTube viewership in the first half of 2019 (compared to the first half of 2018). Panama has seen a whopping 58% increase.
  • Think mobile: cell phone penetration is on the rise in LATAM and mobile video ads are where it’s at. Marketers predict 243.9M residents, about 40% of the region’s population, will consume videos on their phone in 2019.
  • Latin music is the entry point, and partnerships with Latinx music stars are key. They routinely top the leaderboards in the Music & Dance genre, one of the top three most-watched categories on YouTube.
  • Among viewers in LATAM, YouTube had 124B views and 1.3B engagements and Facebook earned 54.6B views and 2.3B engagements in the first half of 2019 in the music & dance genre.
  • Where to focus first: The LATAM countries accounting for the most views and engagements in the music & dance genre are Brazil and Mexico, followed by Colombia and Argentina.

More of these data gems can be found in our 2019 State of Online Video Report.

2020 Will Be A Huge Year for Latin Music

At the first Latin Grammys in 2000, Ricky Martin performed the now infamous “Livin’ la Vida Loca.” And just like that, Latin music had officially entered the mainstream.

The momentum escalated in 2017, when the genre earned massive viewership on YouTube. This ushered in various brand-talent partnerships. Since then, Latinx music stars have dominated the leaderboards.

Learn more: How Latino Music Was YouTube’s Breakout Music Star of 2017

In 2019, the genre has reached “aute cuture” status. Social video feeds are boppin’ with this year’s Latin Grammys branded content.

Care to see Colombian singer Sebastián Yatra indulging in…Sour Patch Kids? What about a Ritz Crackers face-off and the Trident-chewing session between Yatra and Dominican model Clarissa Molina? Think: Mukbang-light!

Participa aquí ???????? para la oportunidad de ganar un viaje VIP para dos a Latin Grammy gracias a Trident . #Ad #MiAntojo

Posted by Clarissa Molina on Wednesday, 16 October 2019

And heading into February, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will star in the next Super Bowl halftime show where they will pay tribute to Latin culture.

Clearly, video content strategies anchored in Latin music are a safe bet for a long time to come.

How to Reach All These Latin Music Fans

Translating your content into Spanish or Portuguese isn’t enough. It’s about being in tune with the cultural zeitgeist across the diverse LATAM nations.

Further, it’s about leveraging these trends to make data-driven content decisions.

The Latin Grammys are the perfect entry point to do so. After all, music is universal. Just ask Colombian music star Juanes, this year’s Latin Grammy person of the year.

“We don’t need to talk the same language. That’s the magic of music,” Juanes said in a branded video campaign with American Airlines (while learning to play the didgeridoo in Australia — a must-see!).

So, whether you already have tentacles all over this event and genre, but aren’t quite hitting your engagement goals, or you are contemplating a push into this region, read on as we dive into the Latin Grammys video ecosystem!

The Music Event Data You Need to Know

With Latin Grammys Content, Timing Matters

Sponsors can definitely get traction with pre-event contests and short social snippets featuring celebrities linked to the Latin Grammys event. But if you want to score tons of single video views, it’s better to ride a post-event SEO wave.

The true receta for success: in the case of the Latin Grammy Awards, the first few days after the event is the sweet spot for brands looking to launch a star-driven campaign.

Your best bet is to feature one of the award recipients in an ad that references the award show experience.

It worked for YouTube last year. To promote its music streaming app, the brand partnered with the 2018 Best New Artist winner Karol G. In the ad, we get a taste of the Colombian reggaeton star’s music playlist.

The spot has the feel of an awards-show after party. It initially aired at the Latin Grammy awards and was published to social following the event. The video quickly rocketed to first place, to become the most-engaged video from the 2018 Latin Grammy Awards, garning 3.3M views and 342K engagements on Instagram.

Nissan also featured Karol G last year in a video ad that ran a few days after the main event. The 28-year-old took viewers on a meditative car ride to the awards show.

But this was no ordinary ride. Firstly, it was only told in audio form with pink clouds as the backdrop. Secondly, viewers were told to put headphones on for what can only be described as a supercharged ASMR experience.

Audio panned from left to right, from car doors opening and skin swooshing on the car seat to deep exhales. The trip climaxed with the sound of cheers from the green carpet.

And T-Mobile also reveled in the award show afterglow. The telecommunications brand released a Latin Grammys-themed ad the day after the event. The spot featured Colombian musician Carlos Vives as he took video calls from the green carpet and moments before he went on stage.

Carlos vive esta casi listo para los Latin Grammy

Así se prepara Carlos Vives para los #LatinGRAMMY, siempre con la mejor red Metro by T-Mobile

Posted by Univision on Thursday, 15 November 2018

Partner with Latin Music Influencers For a Larger Reach

As we just saw, influencer collaborations are key for any brands looking to build trust and inroads with younger generations across LATAM.

In the Latin music world, Mexican-American singer Ángela Aguilar is the influencer to watch. Anything the 16-year-old touches turns to social video gold. Video of the star singing “La Llorona” at the 2018 Latin Grammy event was the most-viewed awards-themed social video from last year’s event (4.3M views and 200K engagements on Facebook).

Another video where she discusses her fashion savvy on media program “El Gordo y la Flaca,” earned the second most views (4.1M views and 20.4K engagements on Facebook).

Last year marked Aguilar’s first time at the Latin Grammys, which she documented in her personal vlog, garnering high views and engagements.

For example, Aguilar’s home account video that scored the highest engagement rate over a month period is her reaction to her nomination for last year’s Latin Grammys (the video was 6.9X more engaging than the average video on social feeds).

What’s more, Aguilar’s viewership is evergreen. Even an off-season video reminder of her experience at last year’s award’s show earned 2.5M Facebook views and 47.9K engagements.

She represents a socially-connected GenZ musician who has built a loyal following on social. Brands looking to reach younger LATAM viewers would benefit from forging relationships with musician influencers like Aguilar.

Take note, Aguilar is yet to establish any brand partners on her social video accounts to date.

Cultivate Partnerships Early on in an Artist’s Career

Can’t afford collaborations with famous Latin musicians for one-day brand cameos? A secondary strategy is for brands to grow with an influencer-cum-musician.

They can do so by using social video data to eye emerging talent and invest early in their growth. This early partnership (long before they hit the “million views club”) is key!

It helps to standardize a successful long-term brand relationship. And it’s nothing new for brands. Consider Red Bull Music Academy, Converse’s Rubber Tracks, and House of Vans, which set up community-based resources to help incubate talent.

Iberia Airlines has taken this approach on an individual level and is starting to see ROI flickers. The brand collaborated with Venezuelan singer Nella Rojas, who has been nominated this year for Best New Artist. (If Karol G’s social video glory following her Best New Artist win last year is any indication, a Rojas win could mean big things for Iberia).

Rojas contributed to Iberia’s in-flight theme song “Volando” that cues up before each flight. And last June, the singer presented a concert aboard an Iberia flight between Madrid and Lisbon. Right in the aisles!

The activation earned 18.8k unique views and 5,014 engagements on Nella’s Instagram feed, plus an additional 28K cumulative views across Iberia’s social video platforms — there was also a solid UGC boost from multiple passengers wielding cell phones.

The airliner got a second boost two months ago following Rojas’s nomination, when Iberia reposted the in-flight concert to Facebook.

Choose Partnerships From the Corazón (Heart)

When choosing partnerships to foster, pay mind to what an artist represents and if that’s in line with your brand mission:

  • Do the musician’s lyrics bring people together by celebrating community like Rojas?
  • Do they represent an appreciation of deeply-rooted cultural traditions like Aguilar?
  • Do they embrace the modern-day feminista like Colombian singer and 2019 Latin Grammy nominee Rosalía?

Whatever it may be, music is a powerful way to activate around an issue. It’s these overtures of the heart that warm viewers to your brand.

But music isn’t the only universal language. A brand that empowers audiences by standing for a larger issue can translate just as well.

Want to see more of the trends in Latin America?

Be ahead of the curve in
the age of video.