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IFPI Finds Music Listeners Are Adding Minutes Each Week, But Piracy Persists

Mr. Nimbus | 12/12/2023

More people around the globe are listening to licensed music services than ever before — and are doing so via a growing number of different platforms — but piracy continues to divert cash from creators’ pockets, while a majority of music fans think that artificial intelligence (AI) should not be used to clone music artists’ voices without authorization, according to a new consumer survey from international recorded-music trade organization IFPI

IFPI’s “Engaging with Music 2023″ study reveals that music consumers are spending on average 20.7 hours listening to music weekly, up from 20.1 hours in 2022 – or the equivalent of an extra 13 three-minute songs per week.  

The London-based organization found that 73% of the 43,000-plus music fans it surveyed listen to their favorite artists through subscription or ad-supported audio streaming service such as Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Music, down slightly from last year’s figure of 74% (IFPI says that the small decrease is down to a change in accounting methodology, rather than a drop in real terms). The proportion of paying subscribers rises from 46% in 2022 to 48% this year.   

Audio subscription services are the most used format, accounting for around a third (32%) of music fans’ weekly listening time, closely followed by video streaming via platforms like YouTube or TikTok, which make up 31% of consumption. 

On average, people now use more than seven different methods to engage with music, reports IFPI, with other popular formats including radio listening (17%), purchased music (9%) and attending live concerts (4%). 

In line with previous years, the adoption of subscription streaming services is highest among younger listeners, with 60% of 16–24-year-olds and 62% of 25-34-year-olds surveyed saying they use subscription music platforms. Usage drops to 28% in the 55-64-year-old age bracket, although consumption is up year-on-year across all age demographics. 

Among 16-24-year-olds, short form video platforms such as TikTok are listed as the most popular way that they engage with music on a daily basis, followed by audio subscription streaming services and then video streaming formats like YouTube. 

The top five countries where people spent the most time listening to music through a subscription streaming service were Sweden (61% of people surveyed), Mexico (57%), Germany (55%), the U.S. (53%) and New Zealand (52%), with the United Kingdom dropping out of the top five.

Overall, IFPI reports a 7% year-on-year rise in time spent listening to music on paid streaming services – a slower rate of growth than the 10% rise in listening time in 2022. 

Artificial Intelligence and the Persistent Piracy Problem

For the first time, IFPI’s research team asked music fans for their views on how they think artificial intelligence will impact on the industry. Nearly eight in ten (79%) said that human creativity is essential to the creation of music and 74% of respondents said that AI should not be used to clone or impersonate music artists without authorization. 

The vast majority of people surveyed supported the need for AI systems and developers to be transparent and clearly identify any training data they have used to create new music works, which is one of the key provisions of the recently agreed EU AI Act. 

The IFPI report was compiled by surveying internet users aged 16-64 between August and October across 26 countries, including the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, France, China, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. 

Collectively, these markets accounted for more than 91% of global recorded music revenues in 2022, according to this year’s IFPI Global Music Report. IFPI says the report is the largest music survey of its kind ever conducted. 

In terms of genres, pop remains the most popular type of music globally, followed by rock, hip-hop/rap, dance/electronic and Latin. On average, music fans said that they listened to more than eight different genres of music with local-language genres such as K-pop in South Korea or Amapiano in South Africa increasingly popular in domestic markets. 

Writing in the study’s foreword, IFPI chief executive Frances Moore says its findings demonstrate how the music industry has evolved to give “artists more opportunities than ever to find audiences,” who are in turn “discovering and engaging with more music in an increasing number of ways.”  

Nevertheless, music piracy remains an ongoing issue that has “a severe and direct impact on royalties,” warns Moore. Of those surveyed, 29% of respondents said that use unlicensed or illegal methods to listen to or obtain music, down slightly from the previous year.  

Stream-ripping sites remain the most popular way for consumers to access copyright-infringing music, IFPI found, with 41% of 16-24-year-olds confessing to using them. One in five people (20%) said they had used an unlicensed mobile app to illegally download music.

The listening study also contains separate reports looking at music consumption in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Vietnam. 

In China, which last year overtook France as the fifth-biggest music market worldwide with revenues of $1.2 billion, 96% of people surveyed said they now used licensed music streaming services with the total number of hours spent listening to music each week increasing to just under 30 hours among respondents. 

Despite the rapid growth in streaming in China, 75% of people surveyed said that they still used unlicensed or illegal ways to access music, demonstrating that piracy remains a serious issue in the world’s most populous country. 

Responding to the report’s findings, Moore said that tackling all forms of copyright infringement on a global basis would continue to be a priority for IFPI to “ensure the most secure digital environment possible for music creators and fans alike.” 

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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