Multiple reports state that Google’s YouTube Music service now has over 50 million paid subscribers, thanks to major growth over the past year. In October 2020, Google reported that the service had 30 million paid subscribers.
“I’ve seen this industry evolve from an audio business to an audiovisual business and, now, as my friend Chuck D puts it, to a visual-audio business,” YouTube Music’s Lyor Cohen said in June. “As a visual-audio platform, our goal is to become the leading revenue generator for the music industry.”
By comparison, Spotify reported that it reached 165 million subscribers by mid-2020. Apple Music has 78 million paid subscribers, and Amazon Music has 63 million subscribers.
Google has not acknowledged the milestone, and it appears that the 50 million figure includes both YouTube Music and YouTube Premium subscribers. But as a paid YouTube Music subscriber, I’ve never understood the complaints others have leveled against the service in the wake of Google’s decision to replace Google Play Music. I use YouTube Music because it offers unique value and better functionality when compared to market leaders like Spotify. Key among them is the ability to add audio versions of the many millions of YouTube music videos to YouTube Music libraries and playlists.
Overall, YouTube generated $7 billion in revenues in the most recent quarter, though much of that was advertising-related.