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New Poll: Music Listeners Across All Demographics Flocking to Internet and Streaming Services

28 February 2018

Artists Left Behind as Outdated Copyright Laws Fail to Keep Up With Evolution in Music Listening Habits

Washington, D.C. (February 28, 2018) – According to a new Morning Consult survey, the music industry is viewed as one of the most rapidly changing industries in the last decade with streaming services and YouTube being used by large majorities of listeners, and especially popular among millennials (ages 18-34), African American and Hispanic adults.

Younger adults are driving the change in how listeners consume music with almost 80 percent of millennials and 76 percent of adults ages 35-44 saying they use streaming services to access music. Interestingly, more than half of adults ages 45-64 and one-third of adults 65 and older also say they use streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music.

“This research confirms what the market clearly shows, that digital services are where we now turn for music,” said musicFIRST Executive Director Chris Israel. “The music ecosystem is thriving from rapid innovation that has enabled access to virtually any song from any device at any time. Now we must seize the moment to make sure the rights of music creators are respected across every listening platform and change the outdated copyright laws that govern music to reflect this modern era.”

More than 75 percent of the 2,201 adults polled last month believe the internet is important to a thriving music industry, with nearly 40 percent reporting higher usage of online streaming services than five years ago.

The survey also found that YouTube continues to grow in popularity with:

  • More than 50 percent of all adults who use YouTube to access the music, including 1-in-2 adults in rural communities and
  • 63 percent in urban communities;
  • 40 percent of adults who report using YouTube for music more than they did five years ago; and
  • 73 percent of millennials who use YouTube to listen to music.

Smartphones and tablets are go-to devices to access music by:

  • 65 percent of all adults;
  • 82 percent of millennials;
  • 60 percent of adults living in rural and 69 percent of adults living in urban communities; and
  • 69 percent of non-white adults ages 35 and older; and
  • 56 percent of white adults ages 35 and older.

Adults are as likely to listen to music through an online streaming service as the radio. One in 3 adults also report using satellite radio in their cars, including 1-in-2 non-white millennials and 40 percent of non-white adults ages 35 and older.

The new poll comes on the heels of a call from more than 210 artists on Congress to pass the bipartisan CLASSICS Act (H.R. 3301 / S. 2393), a bill pending in the House and Senate that addresses a glaring loophole in U.S. copyright law that prevents artists who recorded songs before February 15, 1972 from being paid when their work is played through digital streaming services and satellite radio.

“Music creators are embracing the new digital environment and are excited to work with policymakers to enact much-needed reforms like the CLASSICS Act,” added Israel. “We need to modernize our music laws so that they keep pace with the change we are seeing in the market. We want every music service that respects artists to thrive and grow, and we are coming together with them to build a policy environment that holds up creators and allows innovation to flourish. In addition to the proposed changes in this bill, we support a remedy to the value gap that holds popular services like YouTube accountable for fairly compensating artists for their work.”

Full findings from recent Morning Consult polling can be found here.

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