February 5, 2020

Don’t Look Now But YouTube Music Is Up To 20 Million Subscribers

YouTube Music now with 20 million subscribers image

YouTube has been the most widely used platform for music consumption for at least a decade now, and you’d think that it would be easy for the company to turn all those users into subscribers. It turns out that’s happening slowly but surely as Alphabet chief Sundar Pichai revealed on the company’s latest earnings call that YouTube Music now has 20 million paying subscribers.

There’s definitely good news and bad news in that number. The good is that the number of subscribers was at 15 million just six months ago. On the other hand, that’s an incredibly small number when you consider that YouTube has 47% of all music consumption in the world, according to the IFPI’s global music report of 2018.

These subscriber numbers are about to grow though, as Google has informed the various digital music distributors like TuneCore and CD Baby that it will be phasing out Google Play Music shortly and folding it into YouTube Music. This is a good move in that Google’s streaming music strategy has been confusing for all concerned, with multiple streaming services from the same company all with similar features. Having just one streaming music service will finally set that straight.

The move might not be that great for artists and labels though. Although YouTube Music frequently comes out near the top of per stream royalty payouts when compared to other streaming services, some have complained recently that Google Play has actually been paying far more than YouTube Music.

In the grand scheme of things, 20 million subscribers pales in the face of Spotify’s 113+ million and Apple Music’s 55 million, but it does outdo most other competitors and, like Amazon Music, is on the rise.

While it wasn’t that long ago that YouTube Music looked like another failed Google attempt at an ancillary business, today it’s looking more like a solid strategy that’s finally focused on the right product.

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