Industries in Depth

Do people still listen to music from physical media?

Multiple CD covers.

Countless CDs carve sit unused in the back of people’s basements. Image: Unsplash/ Lucía Garó

Felix Richter
Data Journalist, Statista
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  • The Statista Global Consumer Survey shows the number of people who are abandoning physical music as Spotify's rise continues.
  • Less than 30% of respondents across several major markets said they listened to music from physical formats.
  • China tops the list of countries where most residents never listen to music from physical media.

Nothing beats the convenience of having decades worth of music at your disposal at any time, any place, all at a monthly fee equivalent to the price of a single album. Considering this, the unstoppable rise of Spotify and other streaming services doesn’t come as surprise. What is a bit surprising is the pace at which people abandoned physical music.

According to data from Statista’s Global Consumer Survey, less than three in ten respondents across several major markets said they listened to music from physical formats at all, indicating that countless CDs carve out a miserable existence in the back of people’s basements.

A chart showing what proportion of people in different countries no longer listen to music from physical media.
86% of people in China prefer streaming services to other forms of playing music. Image: Statista.
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