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IFPI Music Listening 2019 Report: Global Music Consumption Climbing While Illegal Stream-Ripping Still an Issue

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents the global recorded music industry, has released its Music Listening 2019 report. The report examines music consumptions trends around the world and is focused on music listeners between the ages of 16-64 in 21 countries. It notes that music consumption is still climbing in the streaming era, while also noting that piracy continues to be an issues in the form of stream-ripping.

Among the report’s highlights are:

  • Respondents typically spend 18 hours per week listening to music, which up from 17.8 hours in 2018. This equates to about 2.6 hours – or the equivalent of listening to 52 three-minute songs daily.

  • A majority of people, 54%, identify as “loving” or being “fanatical” about music. Among 16–24-year-olds, this rises to 63%.

  • Older age groups are increasingly embracing audio streaming services. Engagement with audio streaming globally is strong, with 64% of all respondents accessing a music streaming service in the past month – up by about 7% over 2018. The highest rate of growth for engagement is in the 35–64-year-old age group, with 54% of that group accessing a music streaming service in the past month (+8% on 2018).

  • Radio is still the most common device for listening to music, with a 29% share of listening time, while smart phones are a close second with a 27% share of listening time. Smart phones, though, are clearly the preferred device among music fans aged 16-24, with 68% saying they would choose their smart phone if that could only have one device for music listening.

  • Pop is this most preferred genre globally, followed by rock, oldies, hip-hop/rap, and dance/electronic in the top five. Young people, though, are four-times more likely to choose hip-hop/rap as their favourite genre.

  • 26% of Canadian respondents said they had purchased music in any format (vinyl, CD, download) in the past month. In the U.S. that percentage was 34%.

  • Copyright infringement remains a challenge for the music ecosystem. 27% of all those surveyed used unlicensed methods to listen to or obtain music in the past month, while 23% used illegal stream ripping services, which is now the leading form of music piracy rather the peer-to-peer downloading. Those numbers are even higher among the 16-24-year-old demographic.

“This year’s report tells an exciting story of how fans are increasingly engaging with music. At a time when multiple forms of media vie for fans’ attention, they are not only choosing to spend more of their time listening to – and engaging with – music but they are doing so in increasingly diverse ways,” says Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI. “The report also highlights that the availability of music through unlicensed methods, or copyright infringement, remains a real threat to the music ecosystem. Practices such as stream ripping are still prevalent and return nothing to those who create and invest in music. We continue to coordinate world-wide action to address this.”

To read the full report, go HERE.

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Canadian Musician. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.