YouTube Music Reaches 50 Million Subscribers

Hits milestone in only six years

YouTube Music has officially hit the 50 million subscriber mark, making it the third-largest music streaming service based on subscribers.

In a blog post announcing the milestone on Thursday, YouTube pointed out that its capability to reach 50 million subscribers in six years makes it the fastest-growing music subscription service, as reported by a MIDIA research study. According to the study, Google’s YouTube Music grew by 60% in 2020. 

YouTube music on an iPad next to a Google Home device.

Alvaro Reyes / Unsplash

YouTube Music’s success could be its unique offerings, such as a smart search feature, which allows users to look for songs based on the lyrics, phrases, and identifiers.

The platform also offers fan experiences like after-parties hosted by artists and access to music videos premieres and artist content such as explaining the meaning behind a song. 

"There are nearly infinite 'choose-your-own-fan-adventures' made possible by the artists and fans who come together on YouTube and YouTube Music every day to watch, create, share, comment, cover and remix music content on the platform," wrote Lyor Cohen, YouTube’s global head of music, in the blog post. 

"The unique offerings of YouTube Music and Premium are resonating in established and emerging music markets alike."

YouTube Music’s growth over the past year could be attributed to Google shutting down its Google Play Music service last year in favor of the former.

Closeup of an artist's video on YouTube music.

Chris TDL / Unsplash

YouTube Music got some upgrades that Google Play Music users were asking for, including a larger playlist length at a max of 5,000 songs per playlist, the ability to add up to 100,000 tracks to your library, background listening (with the screen locked), and a new explore tab.

However, Spotify still reigns supreme in subscriber numbers and has 158 million premium subscribers and 356 million monthly active users as of the beginning of this year. Apple Music comes in second at 72 million subscribers as of 2020. 

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