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Record industry: Copyright infringement ‘significant issue’

September 20, 2017

By Colin Mann

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) – the organisation that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide – has released Connecting with Music, the 2017 Music Consumer Insight Report. Based on research conducted by Ipsos Connect, the report examines the ways in which fans are engaging with recorded music across 13 of the world’s leading music markets.

Report highlights:

  • Fans worldwide are increasingly engaged with audio streaming: Globally, 45 per cent are listening through a licensed audio streaming service (up from 37 per cent in 2016). 90 per cent of paid audio streamers listen to music using a smartphone.
  • Young fans remain highly engaged with music despite an abundance of competing media: 13–15-year-olds are highly engaged with music, with 85 per cent using streaming services.
  • The ‘Value Gap’ persists: User upload video services, such as YouTube, account for the majority of on-demand streaming time yet do not return fair value to the music community. 85 per cent of YouTube visitors use the site for music each month and 76 per cent of YouTube visitors use it for music already known to them.
  • Copyright infringement remains a significant issue, with stream ripping the top source: 40 per cent of consumers access unlicensed music, including 35 per cent who stream rip music – 53 per cent among 16-24-year-olds.

“This report shows some amazing trends defining this new era, how fans around the world are enjoying recorded music and connecting with the artists they love in so many ways,” commented Frances Moore, CEO of IFPI.

“The increasingly digital global music environment did not just happen. It requires an enormous amount of work from record companies and their partners to license over 40 million tracks to hundreds of digital services around the world.”

“The report also highlights the ongoing challenges for the industry. It provides further evidence of the Value Gap – the mismatch between the value that user upload services, such as YouTube, extract from music and the revenue returned to those who invest in and create it. The global music community is united in urging policy makers to act to address this.”

“Furthermore, the report also highlights the challenge of the availability of unlicensed music,” noted Moore. “Copyright infringement is still growing and evolving, with stream ripping the dominant method. The industry is taking action against these sites and fighting for the rights of those creating music. With the wealth of licensed music available to fans, these types of illegal sites have no justifiable place in the music world.”

“As the recorded music industry grows and adapts, fans around the world are listening to and engaging with music in many exciting ways. Record companies understand that at the heart of this engagement is great music – something they continue to believe in, invest in, develop and fight to protect,” she concluded.

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