YouTube Music, which was launched in 2018 to replace Google Play Music, now has more than 50 million paid subscribers. According to Bloomberg, the 50 million figure also includes YouTube Premium subscribers and “customers still on a trial basis.” Unfortunately, YouTube hasn’t revealed how much money it is making from paid subscriptions.
Data from Midia Research suggests YouTube Music was the fastest-growing music service globally in the first quarter of 2021. However, Google’s paid music streaming service still has a long way to go before it can catch up to Spotify and Apple Music, which are two of the best music streaming services. Spotify held a 32% share of the 487 million music subscribers across the globe in the January to March period. Apple Music’s market share stood at 16%, while Amazon Music captured a 13% share of the global music streaming market.
YouTube Music has been successful in adding 20 million new subscribers in less than a year. Back in October last year, Google had revealed that it had around 30 million YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium subscribers.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Lyor Cohen, Youtube’s global head of music, said:
The twin engine growth story is real. There are people who are prepared to pay with their eyeballs and those willing to subscribe. They are both super important.
When the service was first launched, it failed to gain much traction from users. But over the last couple of quarters, YouTube has spent a “significant amount of money” marketing the service and building the “infrastructure to attract new customers and maintain them.” YouTube Music has also tasted success in several emerging markets, thanks to YouTube being the most popular video service in those countries.
YouTube’s chief business officer, Robert Kyncl, believes that the service’s success in emerging markets played an important role in pushing it to 50 million subscribers.
I don’t think we expected we’d get to 50 million this fast. It’s gone better than what we thought we would do.