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Annual Music Study by Musicwatch for 2023 is Out, Bringing Interesting Insights Into Music Consumption

  • 25 March 2024, Monday
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Annual Study Music Watch2023 - iMusician

The recently published Annual Music Study released by MusicWatch has provided interesting insights into music consumption stats, including music streaming. The 22nd edition’s results stem from two separate surveys, querying 7,000 participants aged 13 and older.

2023 brought more subscribers and more overall buyers

As reported, ten million new buyers — people who purchased CDs, vinyl records, digital downloads, or music subscriptions — entered the market in 2023. With the increase in buyers, spending increased by 7% year over year. As for audio subscriptions, the number of paid subscribers reached 109 million in 2023, setting a new record.

The sum jumps to 136 million when including SeriusXM and Amazon Prime music subscribers, who were excluded from the original stats due to the broad offerings provided by these platforms. Overall, the number assumes that more than half of the US population is paying for an audio subscription, with streaming account sharing declining in 2023.

Additionally, MusicWatch suggests there is still potential for more subscription growth, although 7 in 10 Millennials are already subscribed. Reportedly, marketers will put more pressure on Gen Z as well as Gen X, which represents the “older, and more resistant, demographic.” Their interest in subscribing should ultimately be driven by the prospect of connectivity, allowing them to listen to music anywhere and anytime.

As for genre preferences, hip-hop has finally surpassed classical rock as the United State’s favorite music genre. This stems from the amount of hip-hop music the US-American population listens to and purchases, follows on social media, interacts with on streaming platforms, and goes to see live.

It’s not only music that people listen to on streaming platforms, however. As MusicWatch has reported, 80% of streamers regularly listen to various audio content besides music. This includes podcasts, comedy, and current events, all closely competing for the #2 spot in overall popularity.

The study further shows trends in areas other than streaming. For example, the so-called vinyl revolution is set to continue in the future as nearly nine of ten vinyl buyers reportedly plan to buy more or the same amount of records in 2024. Radio music broadcasting has also increased in popularity, gaining new listeners in 2023. Moreover, it remains the most prominent in-car listening option, favored by 69% of in-car listeners. Meanwhile, music piracy continues to decline, with fewer users sourcing audio files from “mobile apps, stream-ripping, file transfers, and P2P networks.”

Finally, the study has shown that music consumers are actively interested in new opportunities and capabilities in streaming, including gaming integrations, AI applications, and real-time live streams. Additionally, high-resolution sound quality remains a top priority for listeners. In fact, one in three streamers strongly agree with all three of the following statements:

  • Obtaining the best quality sound is important.

  • They would be interested in streaming or buying more in hi-res or immersive formats.

  • They would be willing to pay more for hi-res sound quality.

Are you interested in learning more about the current music consumption? Check out the official MusciWatch blog article for more music knowledge!

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