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Mexico

Intro

Population: 119,530, 753 (2015 – INEGI)
GDP per capita: $8, 593 DLLS (2016 – source)

In context of recording music revenues at a global scale, Mexico is the top latin american country, with a trade value of $135.4 MDLLS (source). The Mexican music market is dominated by major labels such as Sony Music, with reggaeton, both with latin and north-american artists, and EDM as principal music genres (source). In second place there is spanish-speaking pop with artists mainly produced and managed by Televisa and Ocesa, the biggest entertainment companies in Mexico.

The independent sector is run by different economic dynamics and market practices, with platforms and agents coexisting/depending at some extent with major / transnational companies or brands, as well with music collectives operating with cooperation and self-management models. With a big presence in Bandcamp and Soundcloud (source/source), and also with labels still working with major label models such as Intolerancia Records, Mexico has a big independent music sector, with a big historical background impacting pop/mainstream markets from counter-culture.

Mexican Musical Industry Highlights

2015
-Digital music income in Mexico: +$73.1 – source
-Total music market: $126.4 millions / Music revenue per capita: $1.0 – source
-Streaming represents 83% of digital income from recorded music- source
-Physical formats dropped 4.7% from 2014 to 2015 – source
-Recorded music income: 60% digital, 34% physical, 5% public use revenues, 1% royalties.
-Spotify rises as the top streaming service in Mexico- source

2016
-Streaming income represented 66% of total recorded music income – Source
-Mexico reaches #15 place in the global music market – Source
-Total music income is $133.5 millions – 23.6% of growth. In detail:
Physical formats: 24% ($32.2m), digital formats: 66% ($88.6m), royalties: 6% ($7.8m), public use: 4% ($4.9m) // Streaming: $71.3 m totali income – 60% growth – source

Media

The music industry in Mexico is strongly tied to all media platforms. Aside from governmental media broadcasting at national, state and local networks, there are big private media groups that include radio, tv, print and web media among their brands.

TV
FTA TV is dominated by two companies with national networks, TV Azteca and Televisa, the latter, with strong presence in radio and print/web media, and subsidiaries presenting pop artists. 93.3% of mexicans have a TV in their home, and 80.9% prefers FTA TV content as a source of entertainment (source)

Most important national TV Network – FTA TV
This network produces and broadcasts mainly soap operas and news, as well as US imported TV series and movies. TV UNAM and Canal 22 produce and broadcast news, tv series and documentaries including fine arts, mexican traditions and contemporary culture. Multimedios Television is focused on news.
Las Estrellas
Canal 5
Azteca 13
Canal Once
Canal 22
TV UNAM
Multimedios Televisión

Channels specialized in music / music videos – Cable TV
EXA TV – Specialized in latin and mexican pop, EDM and US pop.
Telehit – Specialized in latin and mexican pop, EDM and US pop.
RMS – Specialized in latin and hispanic pop.

Radio
Mexico has 20 radio networks broadcasting nationwide. Grupo Radiorama is the network with the biggest territory and market coverage, with 300+ radio stations in the country. Also there’s IMER (Mexican Institute of Radio), with 8 stations in CDMX and 12 in other states, and the System of Cultural Indigenous Broadcasters, making radio in their respective native tongues. This network hosts some of the most important regional radio stations specialized in music. (Note: There are no radio stations broadcasting nationwide, only by region, state or city). (Source)

Important Radio Chains
Grupo Radiorama
Grupo Radio Centro
Grupo Imagen Radio
Televisa Radio
MVS Radio
IMER

Music-specific radio stations within IMER
Reactor (CDMX) – Reactor is the most important public radio broadcaster focused on alternative music, mexican and latin independent music and rock.
Opus (CDMX) – Focused on classical music and a dash of contemporary chamber music.
Horizonte (CDMX) – Focused on jazz.
Fusión (Baja California state) – Focused on jazz and pop classics.
Órbita (Chihuahua state) – The most important public radio broadcaster in the Northwest focused on alternative music, mexican and latin independent music and rock.

Notable music-specific radio stations
RMX (Broadcasting in 5 cities & 1 region: Guadalajara, Ciudad de México, San Luis Potosí, San Miguel, Celaya, Riviera Maya). One of the most important alternative/indie rock brroadcasters in the country.
Exa, Alfa and Los 40 represent the most important radio broadcasters focused on pop music, major label artists and market trends such as reggaeton and EDM.
Alfa (Broadcasting in 2 cities: Ciudad de México, Monterrey).
Los 40 (Broadcasting in 20 states)
Exa (Broadcasting in 69 radio stations nationwide).

College radio stations with music-specific content
Ibero Radio (CDMX) This is the most important radio broadcaster for mexican alternative and global independent music.
Radio UNAM (CDMX) Although the main content is focused on academic and social topics, it has a special programme called Resistencia Modulada, presenting alternative/independent music from México in live shows.
Radio UDG (Guadalajara) With a heavy content focused on independent, alternative music from México and Latin America, as well as the local scene.
Radio BUAP (Puebla) With a heavy content focused on independent, alternative music from México and Latin America, as well as the local scene.
UABC Radio (Baja California) With a heavy content focused on independent, alternative music from México and Latin America, as well as the local scene.

Internet Radio / Podcasting
*A quartet of music-specific sites that focus on album reviews, festival reports, artist interviews and live reviews*
Puentes (Podcasting)
Ruido Blanco FM
NO.FM
Rock 101

Web
A selection of music-specific sites that focus on album reviews, festival reports, artist interviews and live reviews.

Rock/Alternative
Filter México – Noted web magazine focusing on alternative/heavy/dark music.
Me Hace Ruido – Music blog focusing on live shows.
Noisey MX – Noted music magazine creating original content about the alternative/independent sectors in Mexico and Latin America.
Voodoo – Music blog focused on local and national alternative/independent music.
Plop Radio – Music blog focused on local and national alternative/independent music.
Sopitas Musica – Music blog focused on live shows.
Tono TV – One of the most relevant concert photographers in Mexico.

Electronic
Thump MX – Notable music magazine creating original content about the dance/electronic sectors in Mexico and Latin America.
Rockets – Notable music magazine creating original content about the techno/clubbing sectors in Mexico and Latin America.
Comunidad Electrónica – Music blog focused on live shows and electronic parties.
Be-Tronic – Music blog focused on live shows and electronic parties.
DJ Concept – Music magazine focused on DJ and clubbing culture.

Pop
Setlist.Me
Conciertos México
Terra Música
Televisa Espectáculos

Others
Clásica México

National newspapers with music-specific sections
La Jornada – Sunday special is focused on music critic, with columns and reviews.
Milenio – Saturday editions includes music focused columns and articles.
El Economista – Art sections covers music with a market/economic angle.
Reforma – Art and entertainment sections covers music focused on mainstream pop and official culture.

National magazines with noted music-specific sections
Chilango – With special reports covering local music agents and artists, as well as concert calendar.
La Tempestad – Magazine specialized in art and philosophy, covering independent/experimental music.
Gato Pardo – Art and contemporary culture magazine with music reviews and artist profiles.
Yaconic – Specialized in art and culture agenda, with reviews, interviews and specials in Mexican and local music.
Nexos – With a special music sections with articles, reviews and columns.

Print
Every year the number of print magazines gets smaller. This are some music-specific publication still in national circulation.
Music:Life – Specialized in studio and live music, as well as production and market aspects.
Indie Rocks! Magazine data pnmi – Specialized in alternative/independent music.
Revista Marvindata sicmx – Specialized in alternative/independent music.
Warp data pnmi – Specialized in alternative/independent music.
Revista Kuadro – Specialized in alternative/independent music.
Ritmo Urbano – Specialized in hip hop and urban music.
Rolling Stonedata pnmi – Specialized in alternative/independent music.

Live

A brief context:
-In Mexico, 60% of music events is run by OCESA entretenimiento – (source)
-Ticketmaster Mexico, a branch from OCESA, controls 67.36% of ticket sales nationwide – (source).
-OCESA is the third biggest entertainment promoter worldwide. Just in 2016 OCESA sold 3,679,916 tickets – (source)
-Televisa has an important participation within OCESA for production, promotion and operation of entertainment centers, theatre and music concerts in Mexico. (source)
-21.7% of mexicans don’t go to festivals nor concerts, 10.6% goes to 4 live music events per year and the 3.3% attends more than 10 live music events – (source)

Festivals
Music festivals in Mexico are celebrated mainly in the Center and North of the country. Below is a selection of national and regional main festivals by music genre.

Rock/Alternative
Ceremonia – Focused on hip hop and alternative electronic artists. National and international lineup.
Nrmal – Specialized in new/emerging independent music. National and international lineup.
Bahidorá – Specialized in dance/party music. National and international lineup.
Festival Marvin – Specialized in alternative/independent latin american music.

Electronic
EDC – National and international lineup.
MUTEK.MX – The most important electronic music/arts festival in Mexico, with a national and international lineup.
Fascinoma – New electronic/dance music festival with national and international lineup.

Pop
EXA (Monterrey, Nuevo León)

Jazz/Fusión/Folk
Cumbre Tajín – Taking place in an indigenous region nearby international cultural patrimony areas, this festival combines artistic, cultural and gastronomic activities featuring the local indigenous communities as well as national and international pop artists.
Eurojazz – Featuring mainly european jazz bands and artists.
Jalisco Jazz Festival (Guadalajara, Jalisco) – The most important jazz festival of the country.

Metal / Experimental /Leftfield music
Bestia Festival – Independent music festival featuring extreme music, hard jazz and experimental national and international artists.
Festival Aural – Independent music festival presenting heavy progressive and experimental rock as well as contemporary sound art. National and international lineup.
Off Limits – Independent festival focused on punk, post-punk, hardcore and metal. National and international lineup.
Jergas Fest – Independent festival taking place in the desert of Real de Catorce featuring local, national and latin american doom, stoner, heavy and extreme rock.
El Nicho – Independent festival focused on sound art, experimental and electroacustic music.
Obscene extreme – Mexican edition of the international fest focused on extreme heavy national and international music.
Festival de Rock Progresivo JazzProgFest – Independent festival presenting fusion jazz and progressive rock. Mainly national artists.

OCESA Festivals
Corona Capital – Focused on international pop, rock and EDM artists.
Vive Latino – Focused on alternative/independent latin american and mexican bands.
Coordenada (Guadajalara, Jalisco) – Combines artist from Corona Capital with national pop and rock bands.
Hell & Heaven Metal Fest – Focused on heavy and rock international artists.

In other cities/states
Hellow (Monterrey, Nuevo León) – Focused on international pop, rock and hiphop artists and bands.
L4tido (Guanajuato, Guanajuato) – Focused on alternative and indie pop mexican artists.
RMX 212 (Guadalajara) – Focused on alternative/independent mexican bands and artists.
Say North (Tijuana, Baja California) – Focused on alternative/independent mexican bands and artists.
Festival Roxy (Guadalajara, Jal) – Focused on alternative pop international artists.
Futuro Festival (San Luis Potosí) – Focused on indie and alternative latin and mexican artists.
Rock X La Vida (Guadalajara) – Focused on alternative and rock mexican badnds.
Machaca Fest (Monterrey) – Mainstream rock and pop.
Northside Mty

Venues
Mexico City has some of the best live music venues nation & worldwide:
-Auditorio Nacional is the biggest ticket seller worldwide. In 2016 it sold 1,329,889 tickets.
-Foro Sol (run by OCESA), is the number one ticket seller for outdoor venues worldwide, with 999,797 tickets sold in 2016. Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez (run by OCESA) is number 44. (source).

CDMX
Auditorio Nacional – The most important mainstream music venue in Mexico as well as the biggest ticket seller worldwide.
Lunario – Smaller venue from the Auditorio Nacional administration, focused on alternative/independent national, latin and international bands and festivals.
Sala Corona – Presenting electronic/alternative international artists.
Auditorio BlackBerry – Presenting electronic/alternative international artists.
El Imperial – Important venue for local and national alternative bands.
Teatro de la Ciudad Esperanza Iris – Government venue presenting private and public musical shows.
Multiforo Alicia – The most important independent music venue in the country.
Foro Hilvana – Specializes in neo-folk, latin american and world music with national and international shows.
Foro Indie Rocks! – Presenting alternative/independent rock artists and festivals.
Circo Volador – Traditional venue for heavy, stoner and extreme metal music. Mainly international bands.
Polyforum Siqueiros – Cultural/Architectural patrimony of CDMX, works as a music venue for international bands and festivals.
Centro Cultural Ollin Yolitztli – One of the most important venues for classical/symphonic music.
Bajo Circuito – Venue for independent/alternative bands and festivals.

Monterrey
Parque Fundidora – The biggest park in the state hosts massive concerts and festivals.

Guadalajara
Teatro Diana – For mainstream pop/alternative artists.
Auditorio Telmex – The biggest live music venue.
Teatro Estudio Cavaret – For big music shows.
Foro Independencia – The most active independent/alternative music venue.
Laboratorio Sensorial – Hosting experimental/independent national and local artists and festivals.

Tijuana
Black Box Tijuana – Focused on pop/alternative national mainstream artists.

OCESA venues
Arena VFG (Jalisco)
Auditorio Citibanamex (Nuevo León)
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez
El Plaza Condesa
Foro Sol
Palacio de los Deportes
Teatro Metropolitan
Pabellón Cuervo

Promoters
Nrmal – Producing Nrmal Festival in CDMX and NRMAL Baja in Baja California.
Sicario – Specialized in hip hop, electronic and indie pop national and international artists.
Ensamble – Representing electronic music/visual national artists.
INTRSTLRS – Specialized in post-rock national and international bands.
Major Tom – Specialized in indie pop, psych and alternative international bands and artists.
Beyond Psicodelia & Psicosis – Specialized in psych and stoner national and international bands.
Tijuana Live – Specialized in pop culture international artists,
Off limits – Specialized in punk, post punk and hardcore international artists.
Sound & Noise (Live Talent) – Booking alternative, heavy rock international and national artists for OCESA,
Harmonipan – Experimental and sound art international artists.
Violencia River – Indie rock national bands.
Wird Festival SLP – Indie and electronic national bands.
Latitud 19’24 – Indie and electronic national bands.
Erizo Booking – Reggae and alternative rock national and international bands.
Gig Mx – Indie pop international bands.
Archipiélago – Electronic and r&b artists and parties.
SocSub (Sociedad Subterránea) – Indie national artists.
Sonido Inconsciente – Electronic national artists.
Cyberwitches – Electronic national artists.
Pooj Producciones – Reggae, folk, latin and worldmusic. National and international bands.
Derré-Tidá – Electronic and clubbing. National and international producers and DJ’s.

Institutions
Goethe-Institut Mexiko
Alianza Francesa
UNAM – Vinculación cultural
Festival del Centro Histórico

Record Industry

The major record industry in Mexico has moved into the streaming market, and for 2016, Universal Music Group had a 42% of artists distribution in Spotify Mexico, followed by Sony Music (36%) and Warner Music (18%). The 4% remaining belongs to indie labels. (source)

Major labes
Universal Music
Sony Music
Warner Music
EMI México

Notable independent labels
Umor Rex – Notable vinyl and cassette label focused on international experimental music.
Discos Intolerancia – Notable label and record study for national and latin american rock, folk and urban artists and bands.
Zugasti Records – Focused on Northwest rock and alt pop.
Terrícolas Imbéciles – Focused on national alternative/rock
Pedro y El Lobo Records – Alternative and indie pop label
Homegrown Entertainment – Focused on trap, hiphop and reggaeton.
Maligna – Focused on dark and experimental national pop.
Jazzorca Records – Focused on free jazz and impro.
Marginal – Focused on rock and heavy metal.

Notable indie netlabels
Static Discos – The most important netlabel focused on electronic mexican artists.
NAAFI – Focused on national and latin american bass music.
Tropic-All – Focused on national bass music,
Finesse Records – Electronic and r&b indie northwest label.
Audition Records– Experimental and sound art.
Indian Gold Records – Experimental and alternative for northwest, transborder bands.
Abstrakt Musak – For alternative/left field mexican bands and artists.
DaFuture – For vaporwave and experimental club artists.

Distribution companies/editorial/licencing
THE ORCHRAD – The most important digital distributor working with major labels.
CD BABY MÉXICO – Mexican branch of the international platform, focused on integrating independent/small artists and bands into all the streaming/digital distribution platforms.
Industrias Wio – Independent company focused on integrating independent/small artists and bands into all the streaming/digital distribution platforms.
Bquate Music – Independent company focused on integrating independent/small artists and bands into all the streaming/digital distribution platforms.

Noted record stores
La Roma Records
Music Box
Discos Mono

Other companies
Ediciones Pentagrama
Fonarte Latino
Fonovisa
Amprofon
Google Play
iAMusic

Most popular streaming platforms
APPLE MUSIC
SPOTIFY
DEEZER
SOUNDCLOUD

Music Industry Networking arenas

FIMPFO (Guadalajara) – The most important music industry/market networking meeting, concentrating relevant independent/major music companies and agents from all over Mexico, with special selection of Latin American and European agents and companies.
Festival Marvin – With a special day programme with panel, talks and networking meetings for independent music agents and companies.
NODO – FORO ANUAL – Annual forum for independent music / creative industries agents and companies, mixing networking with discussion/investigation activities and workshops. Special collaboration with Nrmal festival.
SOUND:CHECK XPO – Production, live and studio recording professional symposium and market show. Featuring audio, instruments and production companies and brands from all over the world.
CMMAS*MORELIA – Annual festival/forum specialized in electroacoustic art and sound experimentation with national and international performers.
KICKSTARTER – Crowdfunding platform organizing panels and independent market meetings.
NODES (Digital) – Digital directory for mexican music industry companies and professionals.

Booking & Management

OCESA Seitrak – The most important booking and management agency, a branch from the Ocesa entertainment corporation
Kaiman Entretenimiento – Notable booking, management and PR music agency for alternative mexican music.
TAPE – Notable booking, management and PR music agency for electronic, indie pop and r&b mexican and international artists.
Los Manejadores – Booking and management agency focused on alternative mexican and latin american artists.
Humo Agency – Booking and management agency focused on alternative pop.
Manager Anonimos – Booking and management agency focused on alternative pop.
Quemasucabeza – Booking and management agency focused on indie mexican and latin pop.

Sponsors

The music market in Mexico, both major/mainstream and independent, is a very important publicity and advertisement sector for the alcohol industry. Transnational beer companies representing mexican brands are the main sponsors for festivals and concerts, both independent as well as co-produced with other transnational companies such as Ocesa. Most important examples:

Circuito Indio / Indio – National tours with mexican mainstream rock and alternative bands, presenting newcomers. Currently presenting live show circuits in 5+ cities.
Corona Capital – The most important international music festival is sponsored by Corona beer company.
Tecate Festivals – The Tecate brand is currently presenting music festivals with international and national alternative bands in 5+ cities outside CDMX: Tecate Comuna (Puebla), Tecate República (Chihuahua), Tecate Península (Tijuana), etc.
Hellow X Budweiser – The first festival booking Kendrick Lamar in Mexico has the Budweiser brand as a big presenter.
Hotel Amstel (Tijuana) -The Amstel brand is presenting a series of electronic/clubbing parties in Tijuana, reactivating an important music sector in the Northwest.
Nrmal X Goose Island / Cucapá – One of the most unique festivals is has its main sponsoring from beer brands.

Special topics/Trends

Are there any trends in that foreign industry members and artists should know about before they approach Mexico?

Reggaeton & New Latin Alt Pop: While latin pop and reggaeton major label artists are on top of the market, the independent mexican sector has a flourishing circuit of indie reggaeton and latin pop artists, promoters, parties and collectives. Perreo millennial, Puro Ghetto, 01-800 Perreo, Traición and Mami Slut represent the most relevant platforms of this trend. This is a new take on latin/mexican regional sounds and popular dance culture influenced by past mexican indie trends such as ruidosón, Nortec sound and Tribal. There is also a new wave of spanish speaking indie pop bands starting to conquer the mainstream market, such as Clubz, Sotomayor, Girl Ultra, Wet Baes, Litte Jesus and Caloncho.

Techno & Club Music: Mexico is having a very important era regarding electronic music producers and DJs. With artists booked on international festivals such as Mutek Montreal or CTM Berlin, and solid local/national promoters and labels such as Static Discos or Ensamble, electronic music in Mexico is one of the most important sectors on the independent market, with Techno as the predominant genre and the most relevant trend right now.

Post-Rock / Heavy / Psych Circuit: This alternative tend is one of the most important right now, with a very wide national band spectrum, ranging from stoner and heavy music to shoegaze and garage. This national trend is fuelled by a very active calendar of international bands shows booked mainly by Ocesa branches such as Hell & Heaven Festival, and venues like El Plaza, as well by independent promoters like Marginal, Major Tom and festival platforms like Aural, Off Limits and Bestia.

Northwest musical movement: Aside from CDMX and the central area, the Northwest region is the most important area for musical productions, mainly coming from the border area of Tijuana/Mexicali from electronic/club music to alternative rock/pop acts. Internationally famous Nortec Collective, and 15 years active Static Discos label are to important examples.

Checklist

Any advice for foreigners doing business in Mexico/dos/don’ts?
– If working with non-transnational or major companies, make sure to have written contracts as well as an e-mail history to back-up any business transactions.
– Every company has its own way of doing business, there are no unions, collectives or any professional platform unifying practices or procedures.
– When looking for mexican talent outside the major companies, festivals are a good window to the current trends and relevant mexican artists.
– Platforms such as FIMPRO and the annual forum of NODO are a good overview of the current agents and companies on the major and independent mexican market.
– All though Mexico has an important economical crisis as well as cuts in the arts and culture public budget, it has one of the most important entertainment markets, mainly operated by Ocesa.

Sources

Other sources:
NODO Agents directory / FIPMRO – Professional directory

This road map was researched and written by Claudia Sandoval of NODO and Alfonso Muriedas.

Photo: Benjamin Earwicker/Freeimages.com