A Visual Breakdown of Global Music Consumption
To maximize any chance of success in the music business, aspiring artists must gain an understanding of how music is consumed and how that is changing alongside technology.
This graphic from Athul Alexander highlights global music consumption habits. Data is from 2022 and is sourced from a survey of over 44,000 people from 22 countries by IFPI that asked people their primary mode for consuming music.
As of 2022, paid subscription services (i.e. Apple Music, Spotify) are the most preferred option for listeners, accounting for nearly one-fourth of main platform share.
|1||Paid Audio Streaming||24%||Spotify, Apple Music|
|4||Purchased Music||10%||Vinyls, CDs, purchased digital albums|
|5||Ad-Supported Audio Streaming||8%||Amazon, Deezer|
|7||Social Media Videos||5%||Facebook, Instagram|
|8||Live Music||4%||concerts, livestreams|
|9||Other||6%||music on TV, phone-to-phone transfers|
Short-form video platforms like TikTok, with an 8% share of primary music listeners, are a fast-growing medium. Several young artists have found initial success and traction using these platforms over the past few years.
And though video “killed the radio star,” it hasn’t killed listening to music on the radio. A healthy, 17% of respondents picked radio as their primary avenue for listening to music.
Streaming Supremacy and Virality
There’s no doubt that the internet has revolutionized how music is being consumed.
Including all video and music streaming, internet-based music consumption was the primary choice for 64% of respondents. That’s not even accounting for livestreams or music purchased through the internet.
This internet-heavy metric is being reflected on the business side as well, with 75% of the music industry’s revenues in the U.S. coming from streaming.
However, for artists, streaming revenue is usually the third-biggest earner after live performances and sales.
But utilizing streaming to its fullest potential keeps modern artists in the loop. For example, Beyoncé was one of the first artists to utilize streaming platforms to release an album completely unannounced in 2013, a marketing move that has been replicated many times since.
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