First reported by Variety and later tweet quoted by Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai himself, YouTube Music and Premium just hit a major milestone. Amidst so much controversy with paid services and what features are included (like blue checkmarks), Google has managed to rocket past 80 million paid users!
For those who remember our previous report on this, that’s over 30 million additional pockets in just a year’s time. Impressive numbers, to be certain, but there’s something a bit more important to take away from this news – most of those users are likely YouTube Premium members.
When you sign up for YouTube Music Premium, you’re more often than not getting the $11.99 USD tier that also gives you ad-free, background listening, and more on standard YouTube as well. With this much money, Google could surely make background listening free, right?
YouTube Music and Premium were launched seven years ago as a means of replacing Google Play Music (R.I.P.) Now, the service is the third largest paid music-streaming service behind Apple Music, Spotify, and Tencent (China-only).
Several factors have contributed to the platform’s long-term success, but one of the primary things that have cemented it as one of the top listening services its integration with and birth from YouTube – the largest video streaming platform in the world. In the early days, everyone uploaded music to YouTube, whether or not they owned or created it, and over the years, Google had to find a way to extract a listening experience from that, help artists monetize their work, and get ownership of their identity.
By creating a separate music service, merging all fan and official profiles into one per artist to make it easier to validate authentic personalities, Music was born. A lot of things killed MySpace after the height of its popularity, but once it shifted into a music-only service for fans and artists, it was already too late – the world had moved on to YouTube.