We interviewed Gabriel Abaroa, president & CEO of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences , which presents the Latin Grammy Awards. Abaroa has interesting views about music and the marketing of Latin Recording Academy’s different platforms.
Portada: How has the Latin music content developed since 1999 when you first launched the Latin Grammy's?
Gabriel Abaroa: “Two huge factors have affected music positively and negatively. The first one is that the Internet access along with bandwidth has allowed people wherever they are to be in touch with all new releases around earth. This creates fusions, new sounds and new genres that have arisen in the recent years. Things are happening faster. The second one is the loss of physical sales that deeply impacts the music industry. The rosters were diminished and investments in developing talent were scarce. This has made many artists to become creative on their own and explore fields that were probably untouchable before.. .This per se has brought a new approach to Latin music.”
Portada: In what way is the marketing of music events different in each Latin American country?
Gabriel Abaroa: “No country can be disconnected from another in the internet era. You are fully aware of the success of an act in a country and the demand/interest grows elsewhere. If an artist is successful in Chile, you expect him to be as successful in Miami. A success in New York has an impact in Mexico and so on. However, the ways and means in every country and city are very different. ”
Portada: How do you organize sponsorship sales into your properties?
Gabriel Abaroa: “The growth of sponsorship opportunities has been gradual. We go from offering "bespoke packages" down to hospitality packages that corporations may use to invite their top clients, VIP allies and successful employees and executives. All the people that has lived the Latin Grammy experience is happy to come back as it becomes part of a larger experience involving the magic of music, Latin passion and Las Vegas entertainment. We are currently developing a new approach to build access for the benefit of Comes in three areas: fans; key groups and professionals. Each one of this groups (fan activations; experience activations; and generation activations) will include a 360 approach including conventional perks, web experience, aggressive social network outreach the Latin Grammy's started a twitter account and in a short time we have reached 370,000 followers) and a very direct impact on specific targets…all of them identified with and through music.”
Portada: We see that Univision is your broadcast partner in the U.S.? Are you looking for similar partnerships in Latin America?
Gabriel Abaroa: “The Latin Grammy’s Awards are broadcast to more than 85 countries every year. Some countries demand different levels of involvement and places/networks like Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, Argentina and the Dominican Republic are very active. In addition to having open air partners in all these countries we are transmitted via cable throughout Latin America.”
Portada: We understand that the Latin Grammy's award shows are your main property. Can you please describe your other properties?
Gabriel Abaroa: “The annual Latin Grammy awards telecast, is the event where the Latin Recording Academy announces the results of a 9-month long process where thousands of members that live in the U.S. Latin America and many other countries (more than 30). We will proudly hold this event on November 10, 2011 At the Mandalay Bay Event center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Latin Recording Academy celebrates such an important annual event by conducting several events that start taking place a couple of months before the telecast takes place. The Latin Grammy street parties take place in Chicago, new Jersey, Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston and Las Vegas. We also celebrate a gala event called the Latin Recording Academy person of the year concert; where the Latin Recording Academy honors a top personality that has brought the levels of Latin music into new levels. There are Intimate concerts were top artists perform acoustic for media VIPs groups. There is A Latin Grammy pre-telecast where at least 30 out of 46 total categories are announced and transmitted along with some musical performances via web in high definition; and the ultimate celebration is the Latin Grammy after party event. Additionally, we are organizing for a first time an event called: "the Latin Recording Academy welcomes…" where we plan to allow new artists to perform during the Latin Grammy week. In addition and throughout the year, we conduct Latin Grammy in the school events; Latin Grammy master forums and we promote the analysis and discussions of experts in the fields of Latin music. These events take place internationally. All of the above are surrounded by philanthropic and musical events for the benefit of noble causes.”
Portada: How many members does the Latin Record Academy have? In what countries are they based?
Gabriel Abaroa: “We never disclose that information as we conduct our events in a very confidential matter. We have thousands of professionals and technical experts in the fields of Latin music that come from more than 30 countries. They are composers, writers, arrangers, performers, musical directors, conductors, engineers, video producers, designers, producers, choirs, Scholars with credits and we are wherever our members are. The Latin Recording Academy evaluates music in Spanish and Portuguese and that can take place in France, Sweden, Canada or Cape Verde entries have been on the rise for 5 years in a row and the help, involvement and assistance from the Latin Recording Academy's membership has been key in conducting the process that is closely watched and monitored by the auditors of Deloitte. The ballots never return to the Latin Recording Academy, they go directly to Delloitte giving the process the required level of integrity and credibility.”