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Majority of online music listeners use phones: study

NEW YORK – A majority of online music consumers now listen on smartphones amid the boom in streaming services, the global music industry group said Tuesday.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry in a 13-nation report found that 55 percent of people who listened to music on the internet did so at least part of the time on their phones, up from 50 percent a year earlier, with the United States leading the growth.

Still around two-thirds of online music consumers used a computer, but the figure had declined.

The study found strong differences among countries. Mexico led smartphone usage at 77 percent while in Japan only 39 percent listened on their phones at least once in the past six months.

The report, which surveyed 900 people in each country in March and April, found a strong correlation between smartphone use and subscriptions to streaming services.

Large majorities of subscribers to Spotify and Deezer listened on their phones, while computers were more popular among people who used the two services’ advertising-backed free tiers.

The music industry body, known as the IFPI, has avidly sought for music consumers to pay for streaming services, seeing subscriptions as a solid source of growth in a long-suffering industry.

In its most recent annual report, the federation reported that streaming in 2015 led to the first significant increase in revenue for the music industry since the dawn of online music.

The latest findings come as smartphones become commonplace in the developed world, leading to a maturing of the once-booming market.

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Apple — which last year bet big on streaming by launching its Apple Music service — recently unveiled its latest iPhone model which will lack physical headphone jacks.

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