Fans around world are listening to more music – 18.4 hours (368 three-minute tracks) weekly
Fans enjoy music in more ways, as labels’ innovation drives excitement and diversity of music
Use of unlicensed music remains issue harming creators, continues to evolve.
21 st October 2021 – IFPI, representing the recording industry worldwide, has today released
Engaging with Music 2021, measuring how 43,000 people across 21 countries – the largest study of
its kind – engage with music.
- Report highlights include:
- Fans make their own listening choices thanks to streaming – The main reasons fans gave
for their engagement with streaming were being able to choose their favourite songs,
artists, and their own playlists. 68% searched for specific songs and 62% listened to playlists
they created more than once a week.
- Around the world, music fans are enjoying a rich and diverse mix of genres. In addition to
well-known popular genres, well over 300 different genres were named by at least one
person in the 43,000-person study as music they typically listen to, including gqom, axé, and
hokkien song. This reflects the rich, diverse, and highly competitive music landscape fans
now enjoy around the world.
- Engagement is fuelled by music fans’ increasingly rich experiences, with music driving
innovations such as short form video, livestreaming, and in-game experiences. 68% of the
time spent on short form video apps involved music-dependent videos such as lip syncing
and dance challenges. Furthermore, one in three (29%) said they had watched a music
livestream such as a concert in the last 12 months.
- Time spent listening to music is up globally. Fans are enjoying more music today than ever
before, on average spending 18.4 hours a week listening to music (up from 18 hours in
2019) – the equivalent of listening to 368 three-minute tracks.
- Driven, in part, by record labels’ investment, engagement with streaming – particularly
subscription audio streaming – continues to grow, demonstrating increasing value to fans.
Time spent listening to music through subscription audio streaming grew 51%, as music fans
continue to embrace streaming for the access and autonomy it provides to choose the
artists and the music that they love.
- Music makes a powerful contribution to wellbeing, providing comfort and healing to many
– especially younger people – in challenging times. 87% said that music provided
enjoyment and happiness during the pandemic. 68% of 16-19s said new releases from their
favourite artists helped them during the pandemic.
- Music is central to what people enjoy about listening to the radio. 74% listen to the radio
mainly for the music and 73% tune in to their favourite radio station because of the music it
- The availability of unlicensed music remains an issue for the music ecosystem and the
threat continues to evolve. Almost one in three (29%) of people had used illegal or
unlicensed methods to listen to or download music, and 14.4% had used unlicensed social
media platforms for music purposes.
Frances Moore, IFPI Chief Executive, said: “Engaging with Music 2021 tells the story of how fans
around the globe are connecting with the artists and music they love in ways never before
imagined, with the rapid emergence of short form video, livestreaming, and in-game experiences,
all enhanced by people’s love of music.
“Record companies have enabled artists to develop their vision, licensed an abundance of music
tracks to a multitude of platforms, and harnessed new technologies to pave the way for music fans
around the world to connect with artists in these growing, and exciting ways.
“The freedom of record labels to license music to these new and immersive experiences is crucial to
the future growth of the entire music ecosystem. We are campaigning worldwide to ensure
governments maintain or implement a fair environment in which such commercial deals can be