A newly released report detailing how we find, consume and enjoy music in all its available forms has offered some surprising results.
The report was compiled by IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry), an organization that represents more than 8,000 record companies across the world. Founded in 1933, IFPI advocates for record producer rights and works to expand the reach of recorded music globally.
The data was collected through June and July 2022 from over 44,000 respondents (aged between 16-64) in 22 countries.
Results and revelations
Taken together, the report’s details only underscore the significant role that music plays in our everyday lives. Just how important is music? A solid 69% say that it’s crucial to their mental health.
How do we listen to music?
Across 22 of the world’s leading music markets, the numbers show that people’s engagement with music is up. Simply put, we listen to more music on a weekly basis, up to 20.1 hours from 18.4 in 2021, an increase of nearly 10%. The way we listen to music involves a mix of media — on average, individuals access music via six or more different ways. That mix breaks down like so:
- Live music: 4%
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram): 5%
- Short video apps (TikTok): 8%
- Streaming on ad-supported platforms (Spotify and others): 8%
- Purchased (CDs, DVDs, digital downloads): 10%
- Listened to music on the radio (incl internet radio): 17%
- Video streaming: 19%
- Streaming on paid subscription services: 46%
The big news for the industry is that nearly half of us (46%) are using paid subscription services.
For classical music organizations on the fence vis a vis streaming, the report shows that 32% of respondents had watched a livestream concert over the past month.
When it comes to genres, fans are branching out in all different directions. On average, we listen to about eight different genres of music.
This section of the report synthesizes the respondents of 34,000 people in 18 different countries. Incredibly, when it came to the kind they listened to the most, the respondents named more than 500 music subgenres.
- Exotica includes genres like disco polo (popular in Poland) and sertanejo (a favourite of 47% of Brazilians);
- Each country revealed an attachment to a unique subgenre, such as Motown in the USA, Apala in Nigeria, and in Canada, it’s Goregrind, a hybrid of grindcore and death metal.
The Top Ten
The top ten genres worldwide put classical music and opera in a solid position.
While it’s now a minority of listeners, 12% of music fans have bought a CD in the last month, with another 8% buying vinyl. Fans who bought vinyl tended to say they liked having a physical copy of their music, as well as the perks of liner notes and listening to a whole album at once.
- Most popular genres among buyers of vinyl records: pop, rock, hip-hop, dance/EDM, and classical/opera;
- While 84% of vinyl buyers purchased new records, 66% also purchased used.
Unfortunately for artists, about 30% of respondents (and 43% of those aged 16 to 24), said they’d used unlicensed/illegal music. Overall, 27% used stream ripping (i.e. taking an unauthorized download from an online source), and the number swells to 40% among 16 to 24-year-olds.
The report provides a focus on a few specific countries. Interestingly, classical music is #7 among popular genres in China, where about 95% of listeners used streaming and short-form video (TikTok) as their primary sources of music. In Indonesia, classical is #8. Both countries, along with Nigeria and India, reported higher-than-average listening hours per week.
One correlation emerged: the people reporting the highest average number of favourite genres (nine) also listened to music the most every week, and paid for their music streaming subscriptions.
Frances Moore, IFPI Chief Executive, commented in a media release.
“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 unauthorized music can’t threaten the vibrancy of a music ecosystem that is essential to artists and fans. 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.”