Latin Music CD Sales Up in Otherwise Dismal Year 
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Thursday, 14 March 2002

Latin music sales were one of the only bright spots for the recording industry in 2001 with shipments of compact discs (CDs) in Latin music up by nine percent at year end, according to statistics released by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The pace of growth however in Latin music during the past three years has not increased as quickly as the RIAA expected. The RIAA blames the slower than expected growth of Latin music on piracy which isn’t surprising considering the RIAA is blaming all of their current woes on piracy – not over priced CDs or bad music.

In 2001, net shipments of Latin music decreased slightly by one percent, with 48.7 million units shipped in 2001, compared to 2000 when 49.3 million units were shipped to U.S. markets. In 2001, the dollar value of the Latin music market grew six percent from $608.5 million in 2000 to $642.6 million in 2001.

Shipments of Latin music DVDs declined in 2001 by 16 percent. In 2000, 41,000 units were shipped to U.S. markets, and 34,000 units were shipped in 2001. The dollar value of Latin music DVDs also decreased from $1 million in 2000 to $883,000 in 2001—a 13 percent decline.

Latin music cassettes also experienced a significant decrease in net shipments during 2001. In 2000, 10.3 million units were shipped, and 6.3 million units were shipped in 2001—a 39 percent drop. In 2001, Latin music cassettes represented a $58.7 million dollar value and $91.2 million in 2000, representing a 36 percent decrease.

Music video shipments in the Latin market also declined in 2001 from 39,000 shipped in 2000 to 22,000 shipped in 2001. This is a 44 percent decrease. The dollar value of Latin music videos fell 38 percent from $619,000 in 2000 to $382,000 in 2001.

The RIAA certified 118 Latin music titles in 2001. These include recordings by such artists as Intocable’s Contigo (400,000), Luis Miguel’s Vivo (200,000), Paulina Rubio’s Paulina (400,000), Banda Machos’ Mi Guitarra y Yo (200,000), Juan Luis Guerra’s Coleccion Romantica (100,000), Ricky Martin’s La Historia (400,000), Pepe Aguilar, Por Mujeres Como Tu (400,000), Vicente Fernandez’s Lastima Que Seas Ajena (400,000), El Chichicuilote’s 12 Chichicuilotazos Con Banda (200,000), Christina Aguilera’s Mi Reflejo (600,000), A.B. Quintanilla’s SHHH! (400,000), Marc Anthony’s Libre (400,000), Los Temerarios’ 15 Exitos Para Siempre (500,000 under Standard Program).

These figures released by the RIAA reflect net shipments of full-length CDs, cassettes, music videos and DVDs into the marketplace and the dollar value of those shipments (at suggested list price) as reported by BMG U.S. Latin, EMI Latin, Fonovisa, Karen Records, Sony Discos, Universal Music Latino and WEA Latina. The RIAA’s coverage of the U.S. Latin music market is estimated to be between 80 and 90 percent. No projection of the non-reporting segment of the market was made. Latin music is defined as product that is 51 percent or more in Spanish language. The accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP compiled this study for the RIAA.

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