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Music Industry

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.

Alan Cross has 37893 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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

  • 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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