MIDiA Research teamed with subscription listening service Idagio for an examination of classical music and streaming. Global retail revenue for classical recorded music was $384 million in 2018. Streaming revenue for the genre rose 46% to $141 million that year.
The international survey of 8,000 adult music consumers found that the average age of classical listeners is 45.5. Fan penetration is highest for the 55+ age bracket, but the genre does reach younger ears too, with 30% of its listeners under age 35.
Most fans of the genre support streaming, with 46% of listeners saying it’s a great way to listen to classical music. Radio and CDs are the leading formats for consuming classical music, followed by video streaming; 29% of respondents said they regularly listened to classical music on YouTube or Vevo. Free audio streaming was used by 21% and paid audio streaming had 14%.
Classical music was the preferred genre for 32% of music consumers in Q4 2018. Some related subgenres also reached a dedicated audience. “Relaxing piano music” was a favorite genre for 20.7%. The report noted that mood-based playlists on streaming services could further introduce younger listeners to different classical artists and compositions.