Latin artists are a third of YouTube most-viewed musicians in 2017


Congratulations to Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, whose official music video for ‘Despacito’ has just overtaken Wiz Khalifa’s ‘See You Again’ to become the most-viewed YouTube video of all-time.

Not only that: ‘Despacito’ has also become the first video to reach the milestone of 3bn views on YouTube. Not a bad weekend’s work for a track that’s already taken streaming services of all stripes by storm in 2017. But the bigger picture here is still about Latin American artists more generally.

According to YouTube, Latin artists account for more than a third of the top 100 most-viewed musicians of 2017 so far, with the likes of Nicky Jam, Maluma, J Balvin and Ozuna all having notched up more than 1bn views this year alone.

YouTube says that monthly views of Latin acts generally are up by 178% in the UK; by 185% in France; by 352% in Egypt and by 940% in Indonesia, as a snapshot of the global growth for artists from the region that’s emerging as the new spawning ground for streaming hits.

More stats? YouTube says that 19 Latin songs are in its top 100 most-viewed videos of all-time chart, up from five in July 2015. It also says that Puerto Rican acts like Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, Wisin, Bad Bunny and Luis Fonsi get more than 99% of their views from outside their native country – admittedly less of a surprise given its population of 3.4 million people.

But note the pace at which ‘Despacito’ has risen: it took just 203 days for it to become the most-viewed YouTube video ever, compared to the 827 days it took ‘See You Again’ to overhaul PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’. More YouTube stats show the way its 3bn+ views have been spread around: 385m views in Mexico and 224m in Brazil, but countries like Italy (146m), France (85m), Indonesia (41m), the UK (38m) and India (33m) have chipped in too.

The debate will continue about YouTube’s value to musicians and to the music industry of course. Information is Beautiful’s recent estimate of an average YouTube per-stream payout for signed artists of $0.0007 suggests just $2.1m of revenues for a Despacito-sized hit on the platform.

But YouTube appears to be underpinning the song’s popularity on all platforms: the remix starring Justin Bieber is still getting 4.3m+ daily plays on Spotify for example, with the original version adding another 1.9m+ on that service.

Now read: Latin star Daddy Yankee talks ‘the power of digital’ at Midem

Stuart Dredge

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