IFPI: 29% of online music consumers engage in copyright infringement for access

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According to Engaging With Music 2023, an annual report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), music listening is at an all time high: 20.7 hours per week, up from 20.1 hours in 2022. On average, people use more than seven different methods to engage with music.

Overall, 29% of music consumers turned to copyright infringement to listen to, or to obtain, music online, while 26% use stream-ripping sites. Rates are higher among those in the 16-24 age bracket, at 43% and 41% respectively. And overall, 55% of those who are stream-ripping say they did it to avoid paying for a subscription.

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Infringement rates were even higher in some regions.  For example, 74% of consumers in India use unlicensed or illegal means to access music online. In China, it’s 75%; in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, 76%; and in the UAE, 77%.  But compared with other Asian countries, rates are lower in Indonesia (66%), the Philippines (62%), and Vietnam (66%).

Rates of stream-ripping in 2023. (Source: IFPI)

Streaming audio consumption continues to grow, led by subscription audio: 73% of people say they listen to music through licensed audio streaming services (subscription and ad-supported), which was up by 7% in 2023.

AI and creativity

AI is a topic of discussion among music fans, who say 79% agree that human creativity – not AI – is essential to the creation of music.  74% of respondents who are aware of the music capabilities of AI say it should not be used to clone or impersonate music artists without authorization.


IFPI surveyed a demographically representative sample of about 43,000 online users, aged 16-64 in the following territories: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA.  The study was also conducted amongst a representative sample of 16–44-year-olds in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Vietnam. Results from China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and UAE as they would have biased the weighted-average figures.

Further reading

IFPI’s global study finds we’re listening to more music in more ways than ever. Press release. December 11, 2023. IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry)

Engaging With Music 2023. Report. December 7, 2023. IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry)

Why it matters

It may (or may not) be a coincidence that access to infringing sources by consumers are 10% lower (or more) in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam, which each have enacted site blocking laws to limit access to infringing content online.

“Music piracy is still very much an issue,” said IFPI; “with stream ripping and the use of illegal mobile apps among the leading causes for concern. This illegal activity has a severe and direct impact on royalties which should be returning to those investing in and creating music.”  IFPI pledges to continue working with governments and the wider music industry to ensure the most secure digital environment possible.

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