Google-owned audio streaming service YouTube Music has surpassed 50 million subscribers, which include users of the standalone service and those on YouTube Premium’s bundled subscription.
The announcement was made last week in a newsletter by YouTube‘s global head of music, Lyor Cohen, who singled out markets like South Korea, India, Japan, Russia and Brazil as achieving impressive growth.
The platform added more than 20 million subscribers since the 30 million users it reported in October. In July, Spotify said its global Premium subscriber base grew to 165 million in the first six months of 2021, while Apple Music’s last update in June 2019 put its subscribers at 60 million.
“We’ve got killer products in YouTube Music and YouTube Premium that deliver truly unique value to artists and creators and the best experience for music fans and video lovers,” Cohen said. “We’re in our own lane. There’s no other place where fans can get uninterrupted access to the largest and most diverse catalogue of music, artists and culture. We’re making it easy for music fans to go deep and find their thing, whether that’s on YouTube or the YouTube Music app.”
Universal Music Group chairperson and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge also weighed in on the news. “Our trailblazing agreement over three years ago with YouTube established a foundation for their commitment to subscription that led to the launch of YouTube Music,” he said. “Today, that approach was more than validated as their service passed the 50-million-subscriber milestone. “Congratulations to [YouTube CEO] Susan Wojcicki and her team for this important accomplishment.”
Meanwhile, YouTube Music now has more than 80 million songs available on its platform, according to a recent blog post from Google. This milestone means that the platform has a bigger catalogue of songs than Spotify and Apple Music, which have 70 and 75 million tracks, respectively.
According to a report by MIDiA, Google’s streaming services were the fastest-growing in 2020 with a 60% increase. YouTube is the biggest music streaming service globally in terms of overall users and the more than 2 billion people who specifically consume music on the platform, based on a survey in key markets.
YouTube is also becoming an important source of income for the music industry. In June, the company claimed that it paid the industry more than $4bn in the previous 12 months. The figure, which amounts to 20% of the platform’s ad revenue, is expected to rise in the future. The company recently posted strong figures for ad revenues in quarter two when it generated $7bn, an 83.7% increase from the $3.8bn reported in the same period last year.