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IFPI study: 45% of global population streams audio

The IFPI has released a new report focused on the consumer music industry, and the analysis finds continued traction for streaming as a listening format worldwide. The results showed that 45% of listeners are engaged in licensed audio streaming, up from 37% last year. Free streaming is a music source for 39% of the respondents, compared with 27% for paid sources.

IFPI’s analysis shows that video is responsible for 55% of on-demand music streaming, including a 46% share just for YouTube. Free audio streaming had 22% and paid audio streaming had a 23% share. The IFPI is a recurring voice in support of tighter rules and higher payments from companies like YouTube that rely on user-generated content for their business.

Streaming is even more popular among younger demographics, with 85% of 13-15 year-olds streaming music by video and audio. Among that age bracket, 37% of the audio streamers use paid platforms and 62% use free ones. This group also showed a higher interest in video, with 79% of music streamers going visual. In contrast, 53% of the 13-15 group said they purchase music as either a physical format or a digital download.

The report also looked at radio data, finding that 87% of people tune in for that format. 68% said they listen to traditional broadcast radio, and 35% said they listen to Internet radio.

Finally, the IFPI results showed several increases in smartphones as music listening tools. Among paid audio streamers, 90% said they listen on their phones. The report also tracked changes in smartphones’ music usage across age groups and national audiences. All 13 countries surveyed posted an increase in smartphone listening between 2016 and 2017. So did all but one age group (the 55-64 bracket).

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Anna Washenko

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