Where do you sit in this global study on music consumption?

The IFPI represents the interests of the global recorded industry in a variety of ways, including doing research into how people consume music. A new study has just been released called “Engaging with Music,” which looked at the music habits and attitudes of 43,000 people aged 16-64 in 21 countries. This is the first update to this study in a couple of years. (The 2020 edition was canceled because of COVID.)

There is a lot to digest here.

  • People spend (on average) 18.4 hours a week listening to music, up from 18.0 hours in 2019. That’s the equivalent to listening to 368 three-minute songs every seven days.
  • Spotify Premium and Apple Music are the biggest generators of revenue for the recorded music industry. Taken together, the two platforms account for 23% of all music consumption. Spotify’s free tier adds another 9%.
  • YouTube the biggest source of free music, sucking up 22% of all music consumption. And watch out for TikTok. Its share is 11% and rising.
  • Despite the wide availabilty of free music, 29% say they’re still engaged in piracy when it comes to getting their tunes with stream-ripping being the biggest source. (Given that access to so much music is free, you have to wonder why people bother.)
  • Radio accounts for 16% of all consumption.
  • About 9% goes to physical product listening such as CDs and vinyl.
  • And even with all the free music available to everyone, 30% of the people in this survey still engaged in some kind of music piracy with stream-ripping leading the way.

Learn more here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Where do you sit in this global study on music consumption?

  • October 21, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    I still listen to the radio, but it’s not always on a device specifically made for picking up FM radio stations. I can stream terrestrial radio stations both locally and from faraway lands, or even online-only radio stations. It’s 2021, and the radio “dial” can be considered infinite.


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