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Music Streaming is Popular, But So is Stream Ripping

Stream ripping’s popularity continues to grow, according to IFPI.

London, UK (September 26, 2019)—More people are listening to more music, but not always legally, according to the new Music Listening 2019 report from IFPI, the UK-headquartered organization that represents the recorded music industry worldwide.

Music Listening 2019 examines the ways in which a representative sample of music consumers aged 16–64 engage with recorded music across 21 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

State of the Industry 2019: Recording

The survey paints a picture of engaged music fans. Globally, 54% say they love or are fanatical about music, a figure that is highest among the 16-24 age group (63%). According to the survey, music lovers listen to twice as much music, through streaming services, CD or vinyl, are twice as likely to pay for a streaming music subscription and attend live music events at three times the average. A small number, 2.5%, say that music is unimportant to them.

On average, according to the survey, respondents spend 18 each week listening to music, up slightly from 17.8 hours in 2018. That’s the equivalent of 2.6 hours, or roughly 52 three-minute songs, per day.

While pop, rock and oldies top the list of most popular music genres, hip-hop, at number 4, is by far the most listened to by younger fans. According to the survey, fans aged 16-24 are four times more likely to listen to hip-hop than any other genre. More than one-fifth of respondents in that age group in four countries — South Africa, Russia, Poland and Germany — list hip-hop and rap as their favorite type of music.

Globally, 89% of people listen to music through on-demand streaming, nearly half of which, 47%, is via video streaming. Listening via streaming is on the increase worldwide, with the greatest increases among older age groups. IFPI’s figures indicate that audio streaming listening among those aged 35 through 64 increased 8% to 9% compared to 2018.

Despite the increase in streaming numbers, radio is still an important source of music for listeners. Globally, respondents spend an average of 5.4 hours weekly listening to music on broadcast or internet radio. In the Netherlands, that figure is 10.5 hours, with Poland, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa all well above the global average for weekly listening hours. Most radio listening, 51%, is via smartphone with 45% using a standalone radio.

Worldwide, 26% of respondents reported purchasing music during the previous month, on CD, vinyl or via download. The top three nations for purchasing music are South Korea (44% of respondents), the USA (34%) and the UK (30%).

Copyright infringement — using unlicensed sources to listen to or download music — is still widely prevalent. According to IFPI’s survey, 27% of respondents overall listened to music through copyright infringement during the previous month. That figure was 38% among the 16-24 age group.

The most common form of piracy is stream ripping, creating a downloadable file from streaming services. Overall, 23% of those surveyed reported that they stream-rip music, with one-third of 16-24-year-olds (34%) obtaining music by that method.

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According to Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPi, “Practices such as stream ripping are still prevalent and return nothing to those who create and invest in music. We continue to coordinate worldwide action to address this.”


Music Listening 2019 •