That’s according to the Music Consumer Insight Report 2018, published by the global recording industry body IFPI, which counts 1,300 major and independent companies in 59 countries amongst its membership.
The report states that 38% of the world ‘obtain music through infringing methods’.
Stream ripping, which jumped 60% in 2016, was the dominant method for pirating music, with 32% of the study’s respondents admitting to the practice.
Downloading files from peer-to-peer (P2P) sites or cyberlockers accounted for 23% of copyright infringement.
While the report acknowledges the unlicensed elephant in the room, it’s not all bad news for the recorded music business.
Consumers are listening to 17.8 hours of music per week, with 57% of 16-24 year olds using a paid audio streaming service.
And ‘high-growth’ music markets such as China, the home of Tencent Music, and India the home of Saavn, are seeing high levels of licensed engagement, with 96% of consumers in both markets listening to licensed music.
The report also notes that ‘nearly half of all time spent listening to on-demand music is on YouTube,” with 35% of respondents saying that “a main reason for not using a paid audio subscription is that anything they want to listen to is on YouTube”.
IFPI commissioned market research firm AudienceNet to carry out the analysis, which looked at the recorded music consumption habits of consumers aged 16-64 across 20 of the world’s largest music markets.
Those markets are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.
The study was also conducted in China and India but results from these two countries are not included in ‘global’ figures within the report.
In each country, nationally representative quota samples of between 1,000-2,000 respondents were set in accordance with online population size and demographic structure.
“This year’s Music Consumer Insight Report tells the story of how recorded music is woven into the lives of fans around the world.”
Frances Moore, IFPI
“This year’s Music Consumer Insight Report tells the story of how recorded music is woven into the lives of fans around the world. As it becomes increasingly accessible, it continues to be embraced across formats, genres and technologies,” stated Frances Moore, Chief Executive, IFPI.
“Record companies are working with their partners to sustain and develop these rich and diverse ways in which music is being enjoyed, ensuring that it continues on its exciting journey around the world.
“However, this report also shows the challenges the music community continues to face – both in the form of the evolving threat of digital copyright infringement as well as in the failure to achieve fair compensation from some user-upload services. Policymakers around the globe have been scrutinising these issues and increasingly acting to address them.”Music Business Worldwide