IFPI’s latest research into music consumption on a global basis reveals that 45% of fans are engaging with licensed audio streaming.
The figure, based on research conducted by Ipsos Connect in 13 major markets, has increased from 37% in 2016. Among consumers of paid subscription services, 90% listen using a smartphone. The report also found that 85% of those questioned aged 13-15 use streaming services.
Breaking down the numbers, 55% of all on-demand streaming is user upload services such as YouTube (in fact, YouTube accounts for 46% of total streaming hours). Paid audio streaming and free ad-funded streaming are almost equal in listening time (23% and 22% respectively).
The dominance of YouTube ensures the issue of the value gap remains contentious for the music industry, while the platform’s role in music discovery is not backed up by the majority of those surveyed (76% of YouTube visitors use it for music they already know). Last month YouTube's head of music Lyor Cohen claimed the service was fairly remunerating rights holders.
In terms of overall licensed streaming consumption, the UK is near the average with 43% of those surveyed using such services in the last six months. Japan has the lowest audio streaming penetration (18%), while Mexico comes out on top with 75%.
Frances Moore, CEO of IFPI, commented: “This report shows some amazing trends defining this new era, how fans around the world are enjoying recorded music and connecting with the artists they love in so many ways. The increasingly digital global music environment did not just happen. It requires an enormous amount of work from record companies and their partners to license over 40 million tracks to hundreds of digital services around the world.
“The report also highlights the ongoing challenges for the industry. It provides further evidence of the value gap – the mismatch between the value that user upload services, such as YouTube, extract from music and the revenue returned to those who invest in and create it. The global music community is united in urging policy makers to act to address this.”
The report is based on research that was conducted with internet users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. These 13 territories account for 85% of the global recorded music market.
IFPI's survey follows AudienceNet's research into YouTube and Spotify listening habits earlier this month.