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The Start of the End of Globalization of Music?

Based on articles by Murray Stassen in Music Business Worldwide, by Leila Cobo in Billboard, by Leo Morel in Musically and Rachel Saywitz in Chartmetric.

Music isn't an anglophone thing anymore. Recently, latin hits and k-pop have enlarged their footprint globally, reaching more ears than ever. Is it the start of a larger shift in the music lovers' mindset? Is the English-speaking world finally opening its ears to music that is not in English?

‘Glocalization’ is centered around the theory that as an industry, music is more global than ever, but when you zoom in on many individual markets around the world, their most-popular artists and charting tracks are becoming increasingly localized.

One of the best examples offered by Will Page, the ex-Chief Economist of both Spotify and UK collection society PRS For Music to illustrate this concept is that in Poland, “the Top 10 [acts there today] are Polish, the Top 40 is pretty much all Polish – but they’re Polish acts doing hip-hop, which is an American genre”.


Latin music, long seen as a trend that ebbed and flowed through the years, is finally being seen as a true market player — with mainstream American labels, TV shows and even management companies increasingly courting (and signing) Latin acts.

In the past year, many record labels and management companies, big and small, have made moves into the Latin market. Among the most noteworthy: J Balvin recently signed a management deal with Roc Nation after three years with SB Projects. In turn, Ozuna signed a management deal with SB Projects. Karol G signed to Interscope, and last year, regional Mexican sibling trio Yahritza y su Esencia unleashed a bidding frenzy before signing with Columbia Records.

Spanish star Rosalia (above) has been noticed on many year-end "best of" lists with her latest album, which is rare for non-anglophone artists.

In 2022, the Brazilian recorded music market revenue grew for the sixth consecutive year. Currently Brazil occupies the ninth position in the global music market ranking. The optimism of the Brazilian music market is also linked to the diffusion of video-on-demand services in the country, which has led to a growing number of productions focusing on the domestic market.


The K-pop industry should seem like the entertainment field most primed for TikTok virality: the genre relies on catchy choruses, and maybe more importantly, inventive choreography.

Nowadays, K-pop groups will announce a TikTok dance challenge to go along with their new single and encourage fans to post their own dance challenge videos. FIFTY FIFTY launched their own dance challenge with “Cupid's” release in February. Greater than the reception of their first single, “Cupid’s” popularity grew steadily, with the original version of the track higher than its twin in every aspect.

Given how incredibly saturated the K-pop market is—over 100 groups and solo idols debuted in 2022—and the dominance of a few big entertainment companies, most K-pop singers rarely escape “nugu-dom” (stay unknown).

This has made it all the more surprising to watch the rise of FIFTY FIFTY (above), a group who—after only six months since their debut—has spent ten weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 with their February single “Cupid,” making it the longest-charting song by a K-pop girl group on the chart, a record previously held by Coachella headliners BLACKPINK. The success doesn’t stop there: “Cupid” flew to the top of Billboard’s Global Excl. U.S. chart on May 22, breaking another record as the first girl group of any genre to hit No. 1 with a debut entry on the chart.

Will American and English markets continue to dig these non-anglophone musicians? Only time will tell. One thing for sure : anglo singers aren't dominating the non-English speaking countries anymore, and local acts seem to have gained interest.

Read more about this fascinating topic in these articles :

Based on articles by Murray Stassen in Music Business Worldwide on July 13, 2023, by Leila Cobo in Billboard on July 17, 2023, by Leo Morel in Musically on June 14, 2023 and Rachel Saywitz in Chartmetric, June 1st, 2023


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