have focused on the United States for two reasons. The United
States has always had a good economy allowing for consumers to
enjoy the luxury of buying recorded music. Another reason is for
the simple fact that the English language has always been the
leading language in the entertainment industry from film to TV
to music. For these reasons, following the trend within the United
States can also give us substantial insight into foreign markets.
Yet the international music market has always run in concurrence
with American music in other nations. Only recently have we seen
an expansion of the foreign music market WITHIN the United States.
For example, the Latin music market has seen an upward trend in
growth in the past couple of years. The Recording Industry of
America (RIAA) lists two reasons for this upward growth in market
share, units shipped, and revenues since mid 1998. The first is
an incredible product diversity in their inventory ranging from
Salsa to Cuban Jazz to Rock en Espanol. The second reason is the
"sophisticated marketing and distribution techniques employed
by Hispanic labels and retailers to reach a growing number of
non-Hispanic customers." CD shipments of Hispanic music increased
by 26% from 20.8 million CDs in 1996 to 26.3 million in 1997.
Universal Music Group
and EMI have
foreseen the value of the Latin market. In Brazil, for example,
over 70% of all music sold is of Brazilian origin. This high level
of domestic repertive provided an opportunity for entry into a
new, powerful, and untouched market. EMI and Universal took this
lead in the early 90's and are still dominant distributors and
labels in the country.