Every year for the past decade, I have the honor to speak at the FIMPRO – one of the biggest Latin music conferences on various aspects of sync, and music licensing in Guadalajara, Mexico – a massive festival of showcases, panels and keynotes, organized by my dear friend Sergio Arbelaez and his amazing team.

At this last event, held this year in February 2024, one of the most important new global initiatives for our industry was announced: the launch of the Spanish Speaking Music Supervision Association. 

This new organization, developed and grown by music supervisors and associated companies based in Spain, Mexico, Central and South America represents a coming of age of the Spanish language music supervision market represents a new level of the market’s professionalism, maturity and importance.

Why is this important to you?  Well, no matter who you are or what you do in the world of music for visual and interactive media, connecting to the people and the resources of this new organization will present you with a myriad of opportunities to connect to new opportunities, collaborators and information.

More about the new organization in a moment, but first some background on the recent development of the LATAM music for media and visual media market. This will give you an idea of why this market is so important.

Over the years, as the music for media market in LATAM has evolved, sync licensing and the creation of music for use in all types of media has become a more important part of the global music for media industry, especially since 2020.

Why?  Because since 2020, locally made film and TV production (and to a lesser degree ads and games) has grown exponentially in the LATAM market as the major streaming networks and studios have established production entities in Mexico and throughout the LATAM market from Spain to Terra del Fuego to Tijuana.

This market, with 484 million native Spanish speakers and another 100-200 million people speaking Spanish as a second language represents one of the largest, fastest-growing (if not the fastest) markets for film and series production.

This market also represents a huge opportunity not only for Spanish language music of all types and across the 20 countries in the LATAM market, but it also represents an opportunity for music owners and makers across the world as much of the music used in LATAM productions is non-Spanish language music.

For example, I recently licensed a Japanese song for a Mexican film, and there’s many examples of our community’s music getting licensed for LATAM projects on a regular basis. I would say about 40% of the music used in LATAM productions is non-Spanish speaking music, so the opportunities are there – they are numerous and they are frequent.

And, as this market has evolved and matured, and production has increased, so too has the role of the music supervisor. 

The reasons for this are twofold.

The first and main reason is that as studios like Amazon, Netflix, Disney and HBO just to name a few commission productions across almost every LATAM country, they wish to ensure the same standards of music discovery, management and process they are accustomed to in other markets.

And the second reason is, and let’s be honest about it, a Costa Rican, Chilean Colombian or Mexican music supervisor knows a great deal more about what authentic music from the region sounds like, what the differences between sub-genres are and just as important, has a local network of decision makers they already work with and the specific understanding of the unique legal and intellectual property concerns in the country and the region, and can work with the production in their native language.

This is important as LATAM music supervisor knowledge on a creative and practical level helps their clients get the best, most authentic music at the best budget with the most reliable clearance.

These are the main reasons for the development and growth of the role of the music supervisor in the LATAM market as production has increased. And, as the role of the music supervisor in the LATAM market has become more prominent, recognized and respected, so too has the amount of music supervisors in the region.

Twelve years ago, when I stared Sync Summit, there was only one major Mexican music supervisor I knew of – the amazing Lynn Fainchtein (who passed away recently), which reflected to a large degree the role of the music supervisor in media  production this market.  But now, the growth of the amount and level of professional expectations in production has led to a market where, across all the countries in the region, a network of innovative, knowledgeable music supervisors, licensing agents and clearance companies has grown to service the visual creative industries, brands and ads.

And as the amount of professionals in music for visual media has grown, they, like all people working in the creative industries, have their own unique needs, creative concerns and business requirements that must be addressed on a market, regional, country and personal level.

To address these concerns, to share information, collaborate and help each other music supervisors through the region started to develop an information network, initially via WhatsApp.  This informal WhatsApp group grew over time as a business and personal support group, establishing connections and friendships across the region that has evolved into a more formal association of LATAM music supervisors, informally called “The Association” among its members.

The Association is a completely independent organization, developed by and for the music supervision community in the Spanish speaking market – something that was felt necessary by the members to service their unique challenges, concerns and opportunities.

At the launch of The Association, I had opportunity to sit down with three of its founders, Music Supervisors Patricia Carrera (Mexico/Spain), Yael Meyer (Chile) and Samantha Parvin (Mexico/US) to talk about the launch of the The Association, its mission and some of its goals.

The overarching mission of the association is to support the music supervision ecosystem and to advocate for music supervisors in the Spanish speaking market.

The goals and of The Association are multifaceted – ranging from promoting the role of music supervision in the visual media world to editors, producers, brands, agencies and studios, educating members of the visual media community on the role and the benefit of working with music supervisors.

Also, The Association aims to act as a nexus for development of best practices, standardization of business and licensing processes, how to work with music sources in the region and internationally as well as creating awareness in the legal community, at labels, publishers, performance rights organizations and other actors in the market to the value and role of music supervision.

Over the next year, The Association will launch a series of initiatives ranging from education to online and in-person outreach on the local, regional and global level designed to create an infrastructure of support, to create awareness and to continue to develop the Spanish speaking music supervision market.

And, as the association builds out its outreach and support efforts, we’ll bring you updates and ways you’ll be able to connect with The Association that are relevant to you.