A few weeks ago the nominees for the Latin Billboards Awards were announced and I noticed something interesting. The majority of the nominees, especially the top contenders hadn’t dropped an album during the eligibility period but rather had received nominations for singles dropped. Nicky Jam and Shakira lead the list of finalists with nine nominations each followed by Enrique Iglesias with eight nominations, Maluma and Juan Gabriel with seven, and Wisin and Carlos Vives with six nominations. All nominated for the strength of their singles, which translates in deep changes within the latin music industry.
STREAMING HAS REVOLUTIONIZED THE GAME
Many of you might have not noticed the changes that happen in the Latin Music Industry but working in the industry makes you pay attention to more things than usual. The Latin Music Industry like many other things now is ever changing. If you look closely, it isn’t much about downloads or sales anymore because of online streaming services people are downloading less and less; now it’s more about views. Just like with albums, many artists don’t even need to drop an album so much as a single because the single can keep them relevant time after time; proof of how much the industry is changing into a singles market. Another trend we can see on this list is what I mentioned in a previous article; the increasing number of pop and urban collaborations. Something else we can see based on this list is how far Colombian singers have come and how much they’re dominating the Latin Music scene in the USA as most of them are top contenders; but that’s topic for another post.
A FASTER PRODUCTION PROCESS
Why the change in the industry? Well, with the digital era came changes that shifted the way things work and are produced. Albums no longer need to be dropped so much (or as often) to stay relevant since people pick and choose what to listen to and download because we now have that option. Remember when back in the day (actually not that long ago) we would have to wait for an album to drop to be able to listen to that one song we liked over and over, or when we had to wait to buy the whole album for us to end up liking only 6 songs? We don’t have that “problem” anymore because we can now download only the songs we like or just stream them online. Songs and music videos are being produced much more faster now. If you pay close attention, you’ll see just how fast they’re being produced. You can see artists in the studio recording a song one week and next week announce it’s dropping in another week or so. Same goes for music videos. You see behind the scenes pictures of the filming and two weeks later they’re announcing the premiere of the music video in another two weeks.
THE LATIN MUSIC INDUSTRY RESPONDS TO THE CRAVING FOR IMMEDIACY
The digital era has changed a lot of things which means that since we know we can now have things in a matter of minutes or days, the Latin Music Industry was forced to change along with it which in turn meant it needed to produce stuff faster than usual. As I mentioned in a previous article where I talked about how some artists had to collaborate with Urban artists to stay relevant, so the industry had to change as well. We as consumers have become more of in the moment people. We like to have everything at our disposal now and we don’t like to wait because we know it can be produced that fast. Because whole albums still can’t be dropped at the pace we want, singles have to be produced in order to keep up with the demands of the consumers. This, of course, helps keep the artist relevant as well. While this certainly hasn’t changed the concept of an actual whole album being dropped, because we still like that idea, it has changed how and when they are dropped. While singles are nice because we can have them in a manner of weeks, we as fans still love the idea of having a whole album of our favorite singer, which means albums will still be around for a while.