The Brag Media
News September 26, 2019

Fans are engaging more with music, but listening less [report]

Fans are engaging more with music, but listening less [report]

Australians continue to listen to more music per day than the global average – but indications from overseas are this could shift as streaming continues to change music consumer behaviour.

A report this week from IFPI, the organisation that represents the recorded music industry worldwide, stated consumers around the world are engaging more with music.

The Music Listening 2019 report surveyed 34,000 consumers aged 16-64 engage with recorded music across 21 countries, including Australia.

No surprise then that younger fans are massive consumers.

Most people (54%) identied as ‘loving’ or being ‘fanatical’ about music. Among 16-24-year-olds, this rises to 63%.

What is also interesting is that through streaming has re-connected older fans with music.

There are no specific breakdowns for Australia in the IFPI report, save for the fact Australia is fifth highest in the world for physical and download sales, and Australia equals Britain for punk music consumption.

The IFPI reckons that respondents typically spend 18 hours per week listening to music – up from 17.8 hours in 2018. This equates to about 2.6 hours – or the equivalent of listening to 52 three-minute songs – daily.

Comparatively, Australians spend 3.4 hours a day listening to audio, according to the inaugural Share Of Listening – Australia by Vision Critical two years ago.

That study noted then how Australians’ music listening patterns were shifting.

Music streaming consumption is consistent throughout the day and especially evenings with a core 14 to 39-year-old demographic, while radio leads during the morning commute and skews to an older audience of 40 to 69-year-olds.

The IFPI report notes that 65% of recipients indulge in audio streaming, up by 7% from 2018.

Significantly, the highest rate of growth for engagement is in the 35-64-year-old age group, with 54% of that group accessing a music streaming service in the past month (+8% on 2018).

This is to be expected: streaming was picked up rapidly by younger and early adopters so it is inevitable that other demos will come on board as it’s now a predominant format.

This is not the only change in consumer pattern.

A recent Nielsen Music’s Music 360 study shows that in America, weekly music listening dropped from 32.1 hours in 2017 to 26.9 hours in 2019.

Nielsen had attributed the high 2017 listening figure to Americans’ growing consumption of streaming: 184 billion songs were played on services like Spotify and Apple Music in the first six months of that year.

Mark Mulligan, managing director of media analysis firm MiDiA Research told Billboard that shorter listening time could be attributed to the fact that with greater music listening options, people are choosing carefully where to spend their time.

The other, Mulligan said, was the rapidly move by teenagers to TikTok, which is not surveyed for listening time, even though it has 500 million users and broke hits like Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’.

The exciting thing about TikTok is that it allows users not to be passive listeners but active users.

It offers grabs from music and TV shows to use as soundtracks to short videos.

Earlier this year, at FastForward in Sydney and SXSW in Austin, speakers talked about taking note of the (greater) trend to shorter attention spans and listening times as a result.

At the same time, streaming is growing on the other end, the longer one-hour podcasts and Netflix-like docos.

So the challenge now is for those in the middle who will find it hard to grow as fast.


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