Photo Credit: YouTube
YouTube celebrates Music and Premium hitting 100 million subscribers.
On Thursday, February 1, YouTube reached a significant milestone for its paid music and video tiers with 100 million YouTube Music and Premium subscribers worldwide between the two, including those who were on a free trial — making the actual paid subscriber count somewhat less.
That’s roughly 20 million more members in a little over a year, and double the figure reported in September 2021, although it’s unclear how many of those are using YouTube Music, since a Premium subscription also includes access to that service. But whichever way you look at it, YouTube has successfully grown its figures despite that $2 a month increase for Premium that dropped last summer.
Whether the figures include YouTube Music on its own is irrelevant; the service still has significantly fewer paid users than music streaming industry leader Spotify, which boasted 226 million Premium subscribers as of October 30. It remains to be seen what the new numbers will look like when the company reveals its latest earnings report next week.
Meanwhile, Apple stopped revealing its Apple Music subscriber count since 2019, when the last firm number given was 60 million. But YouTube doesn’t care what Apple or Spotify might be doing — according to Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube, their Premium service is “in its own lane.”
“The music industry is at a critical juncture,” says Cohen. “Together, we can harness technological innovation to drive unprecedented value for artists and fans, building on our momentum that contributed to $6 billion to the music industry in 12 months. From leveraging AI to enhance creative imagination, to seamlessly bridging short-form and long-form content for maximum artist exposure, we can forge a future together where the music industry thrives.”
YouTube Premium is the company’s ad-free tier, at $10.99 per month. For $13.99 a month, you also get Music Premium, the company’s ad-free music streaming service, while also getting an ad-free YouTube video experience, higher-quality streaming, background play, and downloads to listen or watch content while offline.
Like SNL’s David S. Pumpkins, YouTube Premium is its “own thing.” So it can be difficult to compare the offering to other paid streaming services like Apple Music or Spotify Premium.
But as far as video services go, YouTube’s numbers are still behind those of Netflix (260.8 million subscribers) — although it might be able to better compete with Disney+, which reached 150 million paid subscribers last year. Even then, it’s hard to hold comparisons to other video content streaming services; YouTube abandoned the original content gig in 2022.