MBW’s Stat Of The Week is a series in which we highlight a single data point that deserves the attention of the global music industry. Stat Of the Week is supported by Cinq Music Group, a technology-driven record label, distribution, and rights management company.
YouTube has surpassed the milestone of 80 million paid YouTube Music and Premium subscribers worldwide.
(YouTube Music is available as a standalone subscription platform, or bundled into a YouTube Premium subscription.)
That subscriber figure, which YouTube says includes triallists, marks a 30 million (or 60%), increase on the last subscriber figure to be publicly announced for YouTube Music, which was 50 million, just 13 months ago.
YouTube’s latest subscriber tally means that the platform has added around 2.3 million subscribers every month since September 2021.
Elsewhere in the streaming market, rival Spotify added 7 million net Premium subscribers to its user base in Q3 2022 (the three months to end of September), taking its total global paying subs audience to 195 million.
Apple Music, meanwhile, announced it had surpassed 60m subscribers in June 2019, but hasn’t confirmed an updated subs number since then.
News of YouTube’s subscriber growth comes just two months after the platform announced that it had paid music rightsholders over USD $6 billion in the 12 months to end of June 2022.
That $6 billion payout figure marks a $2 billion increase from the $4 billion contribution to music rightsholders that YouTube said it paid out in the prior-year period (the 12 months to end of June 2021).
It’s also double the size of the money that YouTube said it paid to the music industry in the calendar year of 2019 ($3 billion).
Of that $6 billion-plus payout figure, some 30% (somewhere close to $2 billion) came specifically from user-generated content.
In September, when announcing the $6 billion milestone, YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen pinned the platform’s growth on what he called its “twin engine of ads and subscriptions”.
In a new blog post published on Wednesday (November 9) to announce the new subscriber tally, Cohen reiterated the platform’s previously-stated goal of “becoming the No.1 contributor of revenue to the music industry”.
Elsewhere in the blog post, Cohen called the new subscriber numbers “a monumental moment for music on YouTube” and said that its “twin engine of revenue – subscriptions and ads – is the real deal”.
“We’re not stopping here. We’ve got lots to do and look forward to driving more growth and contributions back to the music industry.”
Lyor Cohen, YouTube
Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, YouTube, said: “I am so proud and humbled to share that we’ve reached over 80 million subscribers on YouTube Music and Premium.
“Alongside our music industry partners, we’ve been working hard to make YouTube the best place for every fan and every artist, and today’s news marks a significant milestone in that journey. We’re not stopping here. We’ve got lots to do and look forward to driving more growth and contributions back to the music industry.
Adam Smith, VP Product, YouTube, added: “Surpassing 80m Premium and Music subscribers is a celebration of our loyal users who come to YouTube every day to connect with their favorite artists, creators, and content.
“We’ve worked hard to build an experience that puts people first, and we’ll continue providing the best, uninterrupted experience across all of YouTube, even on the go. A big thanks to our 80m subscribers (and growing)!”
“Through our strong partnership, Universal Music and YouTube continue to collaborate on innovative initiatives, features and services that are not only beneficial for artists, labels and YouTube’s platform, but also for music fans around the world.”
Commenting on YouTube Music’s new milestone, Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group: “Through our strong partnership, Universal Music and YouTube continue to collaborate on innovative initiatives, features and services that are not only beneficial for artists, labels and YouTube’s platform, but also for music fans around the world.
“Susan and her team have reached this significant milestone by creating a compelling and unique music service that is rapidly growing its base of subscribers and contributing significantly to the vibrancy of the music ecosystem.”
“We hope to continue to carry out many more successful and meaningful campaigns with YouTube as going forward.”
Jiwon Park, HYBE
Jiwon Park, CEO, HYBE, said: “Congratulations to YouTube on reaching a whopping number of 80m Music and Premium subscribers. With our collaborative efforts with YouTube, artists under HYBE labels have been able to provide a place of joy and comfort to fans, especially during the pandemic, through music and a wide variety of content. We hope to continue to carry out many more successful and meaningful campaigns with YouTube as going forward.”
“In an environment where there’s still a long runway for growth in the industry, it’s exciting to see YouTube Music hitting these major milestones.”
Oana Ruxandra, Warner Music Group
Oana Ruxandra, EVP and Chief Digital Officer, Warner Music Group, said: “In an environment where there’s still a long runway for growth in the industry, it’s exciting to see YouTube Music hitting these major milestones.
“Together, we can continue to champion the voices of artists and bring incredible music experiences to fans around the world.”
“YouTube has demonstrated their commitment to partnering with the music industry and growing revenue for all rightsholders and artists alike.”
Jeremy Sirota, Merlin
Jeremy Sirota, CEO, Merlin, said: “Congratulations to our partner YouTube on hitting this remarkable milestone. YouTube has demonstrated their commitment to partnering with the music industry and growing revenue for all rightsholders and artists alike.
“Merlin is proud to bring the music of our members — independent record labels and distributors from every corner of the globe — to this vibrant and growing platform.
“We congratulate the YouTube team on reaching this important milestone and look forward to the continued growth of our partnership.”
Beth Matthews, ASCAP
Beth Matthews, CEO, ASCAP: “The tremendous success of YouTube’s subscription business creates new opportunities for ASCAP’s songwriter, composer and music publisher members to share their music with fans around the world.
“We congratulate the YouTube team on reaching this important milestone and look forward to the continued growth of our partnership.
“Elton and I are extremely proud of our partnership with YouTube. It’s a robust and engaging place for fans to discover his music.”
David Furnish, CEO, Rocket, Office of Sir Elton John and David Furnish, said: “Elton and I are extremely proud of our partnership with YouTube. It’s a robust and engaging place for fans to discover his music.
“In 2017, we collaborated on a global competition that gave young film makers the opportunity to create videos for 3 of Elton’s most iconic tracks. The response was overwhelming and exceeded all our expectations. Now those songs will live on forever with beautiful films that bring their magic to life.
You can read Lyor Cohen’s blog post in full below:
Today I am ringing the bell: As of September 2022, YouTube surpassed 80 million Music and Premium subscribers globally, including trialers. This is a 30 million member increase from the 50 million we announced last year, and a monumental moment for music on YouTube, our subscribers, and artists. We couldn’t have done it without you.
I want to talk about how we got here. You’ve heard me say it before, and I am going to say it again: YouTube’s twin engine of revenue – subscriptions and ads – is the real deal. In September, we announced a $6B revenue contribution to the music industry, with 30% coming from user generated content, and now we’ve reached this 80+ million milestone by building a subscription service with the music industry that puts fans FIRST. Hopefully these milestones demonstrate our commitment to becoming the #1 contributor of revenue to the music industry.
You might be asking yourself how we reached over 80 million subscribers, given the 30 million member increase from last year. Here’s how:
- YouTube Premium: YouTube Premium is all of YouTube and YouTube Music, ad-free and available to play in the background or offline, on your mobile device or your TV. And now we’ve leveled it up even further with features like afterparties, which grant exclusive access to livestream content (like the in-person premiere of Adele’s music video floating down a lazy river drinking wine), plus access to discounts on the latest hardware and services from Google.
- Putting the fans FIRST: YouTube Premium immerses fans in what they love. And when they love music, we help them go deep. We prompt them to download videos or enter long listening sessions on the YouTube Music app, which is the home to over 100M official songs, plus an expansive catalog of live performances, remixes, and diamond-in-the-rough deep cuts. Plus Premium makes it even easier for fans to enjoy every music format: long-form music videos, short-form videos, livestreams, podcasts, and more.
- Meaningful global partnerships: We understand the power of collaboration. Since the launch of YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, we’ve built partnerships with companies like Samsung, carriers like SoftBank (Japan), Vodafone (Europe), and LG U+ (Korea), and Google services such as Google One. These partners were critical in helping us reach this 80 million subscriber milestone and will continue helping us enhance the music experience for fans around the world.
- Test. Learn. Repeat. We are 7 years into the subscription game, and we continue to learn as we go. We know we can do better, and we never lose sight of that. It always starts with the user, and we’re learning what makes them want to join the party. Billions of music fans come to YouTube every month – the opportunity humbles us.
YouTube offers fans the ability to discover music, consume music, and participate with music all in ONE place. And we believe that this puts us in our own lane. Continuing to partner with you all will allow us to work towards our mission of becoming the best place for every music fan. We couldn’t be more excited about building the future of music with you and your artists. Thank you again for helping us reach this milestone – on to the next one!
With love and respect,
Cinq Music Group’s repertoire has won Grammy awards, dozens of Gold and Platinum RIAA certifications, and numerous No.1 chart positions on a variety of Billboard charts. Its repertoire includes heavyweights such as Bad Bunny, Janet Jackson, Daddy Yankee, T.I., Sean Kingston, Anuel, and hundreds more.
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