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YouTube Music inches towards Spotify with 50 million paid subscribers

YouTube Music
YouTube Music (Image credit: Chris Wedel / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube Music now has over 50 million paid subscribers.
  • The figure also includes YouTube Premium users, who get access to YouTube Music as part of their subscription.
  • YouTube Music has added 20 million new subscribers since October last year.

YouTube Music, which was launched in 2018 to replace Google Play Music, now has more than 50 million paid subscribers. 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.

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 global head of music, Lyor Cohen, believes that the service's success in emerging markets played an important role in pushing it to 50 million subscribers.

The unique offerings of YouTube Music and Premium are resonating in established and emerging music markets alike. We're seeing impressive growth in countries like Korea, India, Japan, Russia and Brazil where music is a top passion.

YouTube Music Icon

YouTube Music Premium

YouTube Music is video-centric music streaming service. While the service is free to use, you can listen to millions of songs without ads and download them to your phone with a YouTube Music Premium subscription.

Babu Mohan
Babu Mohan
2 Comments
  • I like how the article doesn't say Spotify's numbers... if it is 32% of 487 million, then they have around 155 millions subscribers. YTM doesn't even have half the subs of Spotify. Also, how many of these people are actually using it and not simply subscribing to YTP? I know Google has experimented with decoupling the two, but afaik right now, you have to have YTM if you subscribe to YTP.
  • Yup...you can manipulate the numbers to make it look like they support whatever point you're wanting to make. In this case, YT (Google/Alphabet) wants to make it look like their services is going gangbusters. "Look how well we're doing! All these people like it so you will too!" Meanwhile, half of the subscriptions are there by default through another service.