It’s more than a year since YouTube announced that it had 50 million paid subscribers for its YouTube Music and YouTube Premium (which includes YouTube Music) services. This afternoon, it has updated that stat.
“Today I am ringing the bell: As of September 2022, YouTube surpassed 80 million Music and Premium subscribers globally, including trialers,” wrote its global head of music Lyor Cohen in a blog post this afternoon, describing it as “a monumental moment for music on YouTube, our subscribers, and artists”.
The news comes hot on the heels of YouTube announcing in September that it had paid $6bn to the music industry in the previous 12 months, up from $4bn in the year before that.
In his blog post, Cohen also noted that YouTube Music now has more than 100m official tracks “plus an expansive catalog of live performances, remixes, and diamond-in-the-rough deep cuts”.
The 100m figure matches those recently announced by Apple Music and Amazon Music, although once YouTube’s extra catalogue is added on, it’s unclear how it compares to SoundCloud’s recently-announced total of 320m tracks.
“We are 7 years into the subscription game, and we continue to learn as we go. We know we can do better, and we never lose sight of that,” wrote Cohen. “It always starts with the user, and we’re learning what makes them want to join the party. Billions of music fans come to YouTube every month – the opportunity humbles us.”
How do YouTube’s 80 million paying subscribers compare to its main rivals? Spotify ended September with 195 million, so it’s still the clear market leader.
YouTube has added 30 million subscribers in the last 14 months, so that’s just over 2.1 million net new subscribers a month. Spotify, meanwhile, added 23 million in the year to the end of September 2022. That’s 1.9 million net new subscribers a month. YouTube is growing faster, but only slightly.
Amazon Music and Apple Music have not updated their public figures for some time. Amazon had more than 55 million music streaming users in January 2020, with “nearly all” of them paying for a subscription. Apple Music had 60 million subscribers in June 2019.
Meanwhile, China’s dominant player Tencent Music, which runs three popular streaming services there, ended June with 82.7 million paying users – a mixture of subscribers and people paying for digital music downloads from its platforms.