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Music streams hit 4 trillion in 2023. Country and global acts — and Taylor Swift — fueled the growth

Spanish-language music’s share of the top 10,000 songs streamed in the U.S. grew 3.8%, and English-language music’s share dropped 3.8%

Taylor Swift
US singer Taylor Swift arrives for the 81st annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, 07 January 2024.ALLISON DINNER (EFE)

Listened to more music last year? You’re not alone. The global music industry surpassed 4 trillion streams in 2023, a new single-year record, Luminate’s 2023 Year-End Report found.

Global streams were also up 34% from last year, reflective of an increasingly international music marketplace.

Stateside, three genres saw the biggest growth in 2023: country (23.7%), Latin (which encompasses all Latin musical genres, up 24.1%) and world (a catchall that includes J-pop, K-pop and Afrobeats, up 26.2%.)

It seems that more Americans are listening to non-English music. By the end of 2023, Luminate found that Spanish-language music’s share of the top 10,000 songs streamed in the U.S. grew 3.8%, and English-language music’s share dropped 3.8%.

Under the Latin umbrella, regional Mexican music saw massive growth. The genre term — which encompasses mariachi, banda, corridos, norteño, sierreño and other styles — grew 60% in U.S. on-demand audio streams, accounting for 21.9 billion. Four of the six Latin artists to break 1 billion audio streams in the U.S. were Mexican acts: Peso Pluma, Eslabon Armado, Junior H, and Fuerza Regida, who also placed in the top 125 artists streamed.

Armado and Peso Pluma’s Ella Baila Sola surpassed a billion streams on Spotify in less than a year and became the first regional Mexican Top 10 hit on Billboard’s all-genre Hot 100, peaking at No. 4 — later, Bad Bunny’s collaboration with Grupo Frontera, Un x100to, hit No. 5.

As for the Taylor Swift of it all: Time’s 2023 Person of the Year made up 1.79% of the U.S. market, Luminate found, accounting for 1 in every 78 U.S. on-demand audio streams.

Her dominance is reflected in Luminate’s 2023 top albums chart, where Swift accounts for five of the top 10 albums in the U.S.

However, when it comes to overall music consumption in the U.S. — even with the success of Swift and the massive successes of country music and non-English language programming — hip-hop continues to rule, accounting for 25.5% of all streams.

Maybe it had something to do with hip-hop celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2023, because streams for current R&B and hip-hop acts dropped 7.1% from 2022, while catalog streams — older material — grew 11.3%.

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