The Luis Fonsi smash hit, Despacito has dominated airwaves for the better part of 2017. It spent 15 weeks as number one on the Billboard charts, and it was the first YouTube video in history to reach three billion views. The Spanish language song, by every possible metric is not only one of the top songs of the year, but is one of the most successful songs in the history of pop music. Yet at last week’s, VMA awards, the song and video were noticeably absent from any of the nominations or performances. Why did this happen? Is it because of a bias against Spanish-language music and Latin performers, as John Leguizamo believes? Is it because the “reggaeton” music genre is relatively new to the pop scene and is difficult to categorize as others have suggested? Who knows. What is cool is that a Spanish language pop song featuring some of the hippest rhythms in the market today became a once-in-a-generation phenomenon and will almost certainly influence the pop music scene for years to come. The fact that it was “snubbed” at the VMAs will only draw more attention to its success and by extension may stimulate interest in other up-and-coming Latin artists and music. Expect Despacito to dominate the Billboard Music Awards this year when the organizers seize on the opportunity to show how their brand is more evolved than the “out of touch” VMAs and better aligned with the interests of young music fans in America and around the world.
The NFL markets its brand as well as any enterprise in the world. I heard a comedian once say that the NFL is so popular, it has its own day. NFL football is huge. Each NFL franchise brings in approximately $400M a year in revenue; almost double the annual revenue of NBA teams and 2 ½ times as much as MLB clubs.