A summary of a line graph

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Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

The graph below shows how people buy music. Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.



The graph illustrates trends in music buying habits between 2011 and 2018. It presents three different methods: streaming, downloading and buying CDs.

Overall, both downloads and physical sales of music have steadily declined. The latter has slumped since 2011, while the downturn for the former began in 2014. However, there has been a sharp rise in people streaming music since 2013.

In 2011, the majority of music sales were of CDs, at 55% of all sales. In contrast, streaming was not common at all at only 5%. Also, although people had started to download music, it only represented 35% of sales. As sales of CDs began to fall, downloads started to rise. They rose steadily and downloads overtook physical sales in mid-2013. During the same period, streaming doubled to 10% but then it started to grow more dramatically.

Downloads peaked in 2014 at about 43% of sales but fell to 30% by 2018. This was slightly higher than physical sales, which shrank to 25%. Streaming, on the other hand, overtook both of them and accounted for just over 40% of sales in 2018.

Please note: This page was designed for writing practice only. Information in the graph may not be accurate.

Tips

  1. Change the words in the question to introduce your answer, e.g. This graph shows = This graph illustrates.
  2. The second paragraph should give an overview of the main points the graph shows (imagine you're describing the results to someone who can't see the graph).
  3. The following paragraphs should describe the main patterns or trends in more detail.
  4. Use precise vocabulary like steadily declined and a sharp increase to describe trends. Use linking expressions like while and in contrast to make comparisons.
  5. The question asks you only to 'Summarise the information'. Don't give reasons why these trends might have occurred, or your personal preferences on the topic.
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Discussion

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Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Mon, 08/11/2021 - 14:42

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The trend in the world I'm seeing that future is all about streaming. I listen music on streaming not download and buying CD. In the future trends of streaming is dramatically rise.

Submitted by Kibidango on Tue, 20/07/2021 - 02:13

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I prefer to buy CDs rather than to use streaming and downloading when I choose classical music works since sound quality of CDs is better than that of others in general. However, I have to buy downloaded materials recently for the following reason. For the past ten to five years, major electric-appliance makers except SONY and Yamaha in my nation closed or reduced their production lines of CD player because of the decline of its demand. This tendency seems to be similar to the result of the line graph above.

Submitted by Andrea Valencia on Wed, 02/06/2021 - 22:35

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in my country people download music applications and pay for their content.

Submitted by YED on Tue, 06/04/2021 - 01:33

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Ten years ago, I listened to music with cd I had bought or borrowed in the library. Sometimes I could download some music. But I don t so this anymore, I just listen on youtube.

Submitted by Mikhail1988 on Fri, 19/03/2021 - 05:58

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I had a cassette player when i was a child. I listened to Decl every Day. After that i had a cd player and listened to Electric house. I membered it was silver and smooth. I liked it. After that i got a present. It was the smallest player i have ever had. It was a flash drive. And Don, t have to buy players now, cause we can listen to music with our cellphones. So we can see how the trends of devices for listening to music were changing.

Submitted by Justine STM on Mon, 15/02/2021 - 21:55

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When i was a teenager i used to buy CD for listening music then when i was at highschool the copy technology borned. So i bought illegal CD to the boy whom had the copy computer. But since ten years i'm buying my music on the streaming platform Deezer. I love it because i have all my favorite playlists with thousands songs i like. I can listening the flow to discover news artits , it's perfect for me because i'm listening music all the time, and it's so less expensive than CD's. But i know it's not a good way for pay the artist ...

Submitted by Hennadii on Wed, 09/12/2020 - 15:06

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Telling the truth I'm a huge melomaniac. I always listen to music: when I do my domestic chores, wash the dishes or do my work out at the park or even on my way to the shop. I use my smartphone as a music player and watch video clips or full concerts on Youtube. My playlist contents many differnet bands and singers. Most of them from distant 60s-70s. I'm a die hard fan of british rock music. What about buying? Honestly, I did buy all the music I have in my play list - most of them I took from my friends (we often share our buyings to each other). Another good sourse - numerous of mobile applications where you can listen to the music for free (of course I have to watch commercial adds but, well, at least, I mustn't buy anything they offer me). Many years ago I had some good collection of music on cassettes but they spoiled for a long time - magnetic tapes aren't everlasting ((

Submitted by Beth on Sun, 29/11/2020 - 11:00

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I used to buy CDs in the past for supporting my favourite signer. However, I changed from physical to digital over the last five years. I subscribed some music streaming service such as Spotify. This decision is better for saving my place, also environmental friendly.

Submitted by shelly on Wed, 04/11/2020 - 08:53

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I remember ten years ago my music habit was to download music from the Internet to my hard drive, and then I could listen to music from anywhere through my headphones. Five years later, I could download music directly to my phone. Now I never download music. Instead, I can listen to music through streaming, but most apps aren't free for every song. In fact, every coin has two sides. We should follow the development of The Times.

Submitted by Denise on Mon, 26/10/2020 - 09:19

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Well,I’m not used to buying any music.I normally use the YouTube all the time and sometimes the free utilities of Spotify. I always listened to music.It is really part of my day.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 17:56

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In the last ten years I kept on buying CD, because I prefer these in place of the streams or the downloads. Perhaps I have remained behind, considering my age, but sometimes the old things become fashionable again, as the vinyl discs, which are achieving resounding success.

Submitted by YaMaCa on Wed, 07/10/2020 - 09:47

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Really, I have bought so few music a log my life. Using my memory, I bought just 5 Cd’s in my entire life. In contrast, I have not bought stream music while download music I had a peak in my University time.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 13:44

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I think that if people want to listen to music then they would use an online music platform or you-tube for downloading music. This has been gradually increased over the last five to ten years. Right now, People would not like to listen to retro style music such as CD or other types of old recording. They are going to catch online and find out their favourite music with one click. That is a new cut-technology centre.

Hi Razan Mahairy,

That's great :) Try using a notebook, and let us know if it works for you or if you find any other good ways to learn vocabulary.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by mxoubi0 on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 14:52

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Thanks for sharing such kind information. Might you please explain more about the number as you mentioned in the paragraph. 1- sales but fell to 30% by 2018. Why using "to" with percentage and "by" with the year. 2- for just over 40% of sales in 2018.

Hello mxoubi0,

Mostly, this is just how we speak about these numbers. We use 'fall to' + a number to speak about a decrease in a value, not just percentages. If you follow the link and perform a search on that page for 'fell to', you will multiple examples of this and other uses.

One of the common meanings of 'by' is to indicate 'before' -- follow the link and look for entry 1.8. 'just over' means 'a little bit more than', so the number here could be, for example, 41 or 42%.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for the explanation. Another questions why the writer used has + been however I think he shall use Had+been because it's in the past. However, there has been a sharp rise in people streaming music since 2013.

Hello mxoubi0,

In this sentence has been is a present perfect form. One use of the present perfect is to describe events which began in the past and continue up to the present. The phrase since 2013 has this meaning, so the present perfect is used.

Had been would be a past perfect form. It would be used to describe an action before another action in the past.

You can read more about the present perfect here.

You can read more about the present perfect here.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I think the writer shall use had + been instead of using has+ been in the below statements However, there has been a sharp rise in people streaming music since 2013.

Hello mxoubi0,

I'm afraid that's not correct, though it would be correct to use 'was' instead of 'has been'. 

I'd suggest you have a look at our explanations of the present perfect and the past perfect ('had been'). If it still doesn't make sense to you after that, please feel free to ask us about this again.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks again for the explanation. So the writer could say that: However, there had been sharply rising in people streaming music since 2013. Am I correct.

Hello mxoubi0,

No, I'm afraid that's not correct. After there + be (such as there had been) you need a noun phrase, so you need a sharp rise not a verb phrase.

 

Also, with regard to the past perfect, you need to have a second time reference. The past perfect is not used on its own. It exists with reference to a second past time. If you simply say since 2013 then you are describing a time which continues up to the present, not a past time which continued up to another past time.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Jonathan R on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 04:34

In reply to by Razan Mahairy

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Hi Razan Mahairy,

I'll try to help. Physical sales means the sales of a object that you can hold or touch, like a music CD. If you buy music online, this is not a physical sale because you just get a file (e.g. an MP3), not a physical object.

Streaming means listening to music or watching a video online, on YouTube, for example. When you stream music, you don't own the music.

To develop your vocabulary, reading and using a dictionary is great! Do you have a vocabulary notebook? If not, I recommend making one – a notebook specially for vocabulary, separate from your other learning notes. Add new words and phrases in it, with notes about their meaning, usage, pronunciation, common phrases, and anything else important. Then, review them often and test yourself. Also, look for opportunities to use these words and phrases in your own writing and speaking.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Thu, 07/05/2020 - 01:30

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The trends has been on an increasing rate for patronage on mostly streaming and downloads.

Submitted by Huini on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 05:54

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This report presents the cellphone using trends from 2010 to 2019 in a developing country like Bangladesh. It shows three different cellphones selling methods: Nokia, Samsung, and iPhone. Overall, Nokia has steadily declined since 2010. In contrast, Samsung has slightly increased from 2010 to 2014 and sharply grown from 2015 to 2019. However, there has been a sharp rise in buying the iPhone since 2017. In 2010, the majority of cellphone sales were Nokia, 75% of all sales. In contrast, Samsung was not popular at all at only 8% and the iPhone was not invented. Although people had started to use Samsung, it only represented 28% of sales. As Nokia began to fall, Samsung started to rise. After 2013, it has steadily increased and overtook Nokia in 2016. In 2019, Samsung represented 65% sales, while Nokia almost stopped selling its phone, at only 1% of all sales. Meanwhile, the iPhone, the smartest phone, started to come into the market in 2017. Once it entered the market, it began to raise its selling. In one year, its sell doubled. In 2019, it represented 25% of all sales. Research shows that the iPhone will replace Samsung after 2 or 3 years. In 2016, Samsung overtook Nokia and represented 65% of all sales in 2019. While Nokia selling almost stopped in 2019 at only 1%. However, the iPhone selling curve started sharply raising and represented 25% in 2019. .

Submitted by jazmin marquez on Thu, 23/04/2020 - 01:16

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Well, I remember that when I was a child I listened to music on a cassette or even on acetate records. When I was growing up the CD already existed and we used to listen to music as a family. But with time, This phenomenon became more and more individualized, then we downloaded music in Ares, for example. And now, all the music I listen to is streaming, because nowadays it is easier for people to have the Internet and mobile devices.

Submitted by Magedelabd on Sat, 11/04/2020 - 12:53

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The above mentioned graph illustrate my trends in music listening since 2020 till 2020 as a percentage od my free time activities. In 2010 , Listening to music represented 100% of my free time . Then atarted to shrink dramatically till reached zero % in 2020.

Submitted by Rahma Mahmoud on Sun, 29/03/2020 - 09:03

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I remembered we used to listen to music through CDCs and taps. After the age of the internet, we became using downloads to listen to the latest albums. Now, I frequently use applications like Soundcloud, Spotify, and so on. And the top of them, of course, is Youtube. I think it becomes easier to get into your favorite songs but I still like old trends.

Submitted by Cristy on Fri, 13/03/2020 - 21:09

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Over the last ten years my music buying habits have changed dramatically. Since 2010 there has been a dramatic decline in CD's purcharses given that streaming became more available. At the begining of 2011 there was a gradual increase on music purchases through applications sold by "Apple Music". Just over 30% accounted for music buys while 70% accounted for free streaming videos in "YouTube". However, the percentage of music spent on "Apple Music" plumetted to 0% in the following years when Spotify Music appeared. From 2014 and onwards, "Spotify" accunted for 100% of the money allocated for music.

Submitted by Rawaha on Mon, 02/03/2020 - 07:53

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It’s not so encouraging, as far as the music are available free of cost on different social media sides, people not bother to purchase it. In most European countries, the law of copyright is so powerful that it enforce people to buy music. In my opinion law prevails over the personal instinct. In canada, people are used to purchase music as they feel it is their moral obligation to respect copyright law. In last ten years trend is settled to purchase and buy music and adhere with common practices. In some parts of world, there are some bottlenecks to fulfill this practice.

Submitted by cin5 on Tue, 25/02/2020 - 15:58

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Nowadays, I do not usually buy music, I listen to it on platforms like YouTube or Spotify, but there was I time me and my family used to do it. I remember going to the music shop in order to listen to music that was trendy. It happened 10 years ago, because the steady decreased in CDs purchased is evident in 2020. Although, I think physical music sales are still popular, I mean people, first of all, music collectors, often spend their money in vinyl stores.

Submitted by gicandrade on Wed, 13/11/2019 - 09:39

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Trends change over the last five years it's notorious the musical trends have changed a lot in the last five years. The reason of that is the sharp increase of the streaming. Before, we bought CDs, LPs and listen radios. Actually, we listen the new trends, launch music on the smartphone. The way of we listen to music has changed over the last few years. There’s no way: sometime let’s use the Spotify. It’s a fact. What do the market say about? The specialize companies have done research to understand how we consume music. The answer is not surprising: we listen music on the smartphone and on the web through the youtube or Spotify. The paper illustrated that the costumers prefer to do everything on the smartphone. Consequently, the sale of the CD starting steadily declined in 2011, while the downloads has rising. In contrast, streaming was not common at all and represented in this period only 5%. As sales of CD began to fall, downloads started to rise. However, in 2013, downloads was in peak and streaming started appear. In 2014, streaming overtook downloads music, reaching 43% the share. Now a days, downloads shrank and streaming continuous rising, representing more 50$ of sales in 2018.

Submitted by Maitane on Fri, 19/07/2019 - 11:30

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What are the trends in the way you have been buying and listening to music over the last five to ten years? Ten years ago, my method to listening to music was download. Then, little by little, I started to use streaming in websites like Youtube. However, currently, I use more streaming but in my smartphone with differents APPs (Spotify, YT music...).

Submitted by aluizaalthoff on Fri, 24/05/2019 - 12:16

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I started to buy CDs in the mid-90s, physical sales probably peaked around 2000. Downloads increased steadily during the 00's. In contrast, CDs' purchase began to fall in this same period and decreased more dramatically by the end of this decade. Around 2010 streaming started to suddenly rise and overtook both CDs and downloads.

Submitted by aluizaalthoff on Fri, 24/05/2019 - 11:40

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There's a video with tips on the "road to ielts" website, that says the overall statement should be the last paragraph. Which one is correct? Second or last paragraph? Or could be both?
Hello aluizaalthoff, While we do not comment on others sites' material, I can tell you that there is no single way to organise the text. The important thing is that all the required information is included and is organised in a logical way. The model on this page presents one possible way to do this, not the only possible way. ~ You can read more about writing for IELTS on our dedicated site, TakeIELTS: https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org/take-ielts/prepare ~ Peter The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Rəşad Sultanov on Sat, 18/05/2019 - 15:01

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If I'm honest,I assume the trends which i have been buying and listening to music in the recent years are streams

Submitted by Djadje on Tue, 07/05/2019 - 22:23

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Quite challenging for me. I did appreciate though.

Submitted by va.jovencloza on Thu, 02/05/2019 - 01:46

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Was able to complete this exercise within 15 minutes.