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Music helped improve emotional wellbeing during the pandemic, study finds

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry's report also found that subscriptions to music streaming services rose by 51% during the pandemic

A new study has found that listening to music helped improve emotional wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that people spent more time listening to music than before while in lockdown.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)'s report, Engaging With Music 2021, takes an in-depth look at the listening habits of music fans around the world, concluding that there was an increase in the time spent listening to music during the pandemic. Music fans spent an average of 18.4 hours every week listening to music in 2020, an increase from the figure of 18 hours in 2019.

The responses to the organisation's survey also found that around 87% of people said that music had lifted their mood while stuck in lockdown, and 68% of 16-19 year-olds said that releases by their favourite artists helped soothed them amid the pandemic.

"The research finds that not only are fans listening to more music, but that they are also seizing opportunities to engage with new, dynamic, and immersive music experiences," IFPI Chief Executive Frances Moore said in the report.

"Fuelled by record labels’ investment, the incredible abundance and growth of music licensed to streaming services is driving this engagement. In addition, music has provided fans with comfort and healing through these challenging times."

Describing itself as the "voice of the recording industry worldwide", the IFPI counts around 8,000 global members among its ranks. The survey's results were based on the views of 43,000 music fans from across 21 countries, that the IFPI says account for 91% of global recorded music market revenues in 2020.

The research follows a similar survey carried out by UK Music, which reported in July that 57% of respondents felt music had helped them cope during lockdown.

Read DJ Mag's September 2019 cover feature on dance music's mental health crisis here.