Audio-streaming services account for 32% of music consumption in 2022, although so do video and social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram. Make of that what you will. This is all according to the latest music consumption stats pack from the International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry which goes by the name ‘Engaging With Music’.
That stats pack also tells us that people on average are spending more time each week listening to music. Average listening time is up to 20.1 hours, from 18.4 hours in last year’s survey. That, the IFPI reckons, means people are listening to more music today than ever before. And they are accessing that music via more channels than ever before too, with the average person engaging with music via more than six different methods.
The global trade group for the record industry surveyed 44,000 internet users in 22 countries across the world. The global stats in the new report are based on the surveys that took place in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK and US. There are then standalone summaries of the surveys conducted in China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria.
Of those internet users included in the global figures, 74% were listening to music through an audio streaming service. Though that obviously includes both paid-for premium services and ad-funded free-to-access services. The music industry makes much more money from the former. 46% of respondents were signed up to a paid-for service, either directly or via a family plan type package.
Paid-for streaming was most popular among 25-34 year olds with 56% signed up, closely followed by the 16-24 year olds at 54%. Engagement with premium services then declines with age, so among 35-44 year olds 44% were paying to stream, with 45-54 year olds it was 36% and with 55-64 year olds it was 26%.
In terms of which countries are most likely to pay to stream music, Sweden – home of Spotify and a real early adopter market for streaming – comes out top with 56% of respondents there signed up to premium. The next biggest markets for premium streaming were the UK (52%), USA (51%), Germany (51%) and Mexico (50%).
Premium subscribers are unsurprisingly more engaged with the music than the free streamers, so when all the stats are crunched together to work out what formats account for total music consumption, premium streaming accounts for 24% and free streaming 8%.
But what about the music being consumed via video and social media platforms and apps? The IFPI reckons that video streaming via platforms like YouTube accounts for 19% of consumption, short-form video apps like TikTok for 8% and social media services like Facebook and Instagram 5% – which is 32% in total, the same as premium and free streaming combined.
The IFPI study found that 50% of respondents were using short-form video apps, with 78% of respondents in South Africa and Mexico busy swiping through at least some short-form video nonsense on a regular basis. Crucially for a music industry busy renegotiating its deals with many of those very apps, the IFPI reckons that music “was central to 63% of all the time spent watching videos on short form video apps”.
In terms of other forms of music consumption, beyond the 32% on streaming services and 32% on video and social platforms, 17% of consumption came via the good old fashioned radio, 10% is from music purchased on disc or download, 4% is from live music and 6% from other things like TV.
The live music figure also includes livestreaming. Of those surveyed, 32% said they had watched some live-streamed music in the last month. Engagement with livestreams was highest in Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Argentina and South Korea.
The IFPI report also talks about the positive impact of music on health. 69% of respondents said that music is important to their mental health, and the same number reckoned music was particularly important when they exercise.
Talking about health, what about the health of the record industry? Obviously, all that streaming has powered a lot of revenue growth in the recorded music business in recent years, although what about all that piracy that caused plenty of health problems for the sector in the 2000s and early 2010s?
Well, while piracy isn’t the big problem it was in the early days of digital, the IFPI survey found that 30% of respondents are still accessing music via unlicensed platforms, and that goes up to 43% among 16-24 year olds. 27% had used stream-ripping sites to access music and 17% had used a mobile app to illegally download music. Which is very naughty indeed. I mean, can’t they just watch a musical TikTok video and be happy?
Commenting on the latest ‘Engaging With Music’ report, IFPI boss Frances Moore says: “This year’s ‘Engaging With Music’ report paints a fascinating picture of how fans around the globe listen and engage with music today. It shows the results of record companies’ partnership with artists and their work to harness new technologies to connect fans with their favourite tracks in even more ways”.
“We continue our work to ensure that those seeking to profit from unlicensed and unauthorised music can’t threaten the vibrancy of a music ecosystem that is essential to artists and fans”, she adds. “‘Engaging With Music 2022’ serves as a healthy and celebratory reminder of the true global importance and value of music and the need to protect and support it”.
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