YouTube is the king of online video sharing, as we all know. The same cannot be said about its new subscription Music services. The services are not faring well with users. The number of subscribers is much lower in comparison to its competitors.

According to a Bloomberg report, Google’s paid music services has a total of 15 million subscribers. The figure includes subscribers to two services — YouTube Music and Google Play Music, which is an older service that is being integrated with YouTube Music. In comparison, Spotify boasts around 100 million paying subscribers as well as an additional 115 million users on its free, ad-supported tier. Apple Music comes in at second place with a whopping 60 million subscribers on its paid and trial plans.

Lyor Cohen, the global head of music at YouTube, has been tasked to improve Google’s status in the video streaming industry. His first order of business was to push for more video initiatives to draw more customers, including short-form video series (e.g., Billie Eilish), and funded promotional campaigns for new albums. YouTube, under his leadership, also live streamed the Coachella music festival and premiered a new video by Taylor Swift.

When people think of YouTube, they instantly think of free music. The majority of music lovers out there are content with the free services that are provided by YouTube. Paying for YouTube has never crossed their minds. And that in it by itself is the reason why YouTube music subscription levels are low.

YouTube Accounts for 47% of Music Streaming, Study Claims | Social Media Marketing Toronto

It comes as no shock that people are streaming more music than they did 10 years ago. This is particularly problematic for the music industry and its artists because the mass majority of those streamers are listening for free via YouTube.

47% of global music consumption is now happening on YouTube, according to a study done last year by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. The IFPI’s Music Consumer Insight Report 2018, which takes a look at the state of music consumption globally, also found that 52% of on-demand music streaming occurs over video.

While YouTube does now offer paid streaming services, such as YouTube Music for $9.99 and YouTube Premium for $11.99, paid audio services account for only a small portion of the music streaming stats noted above. This becomes a big deal in the context of per-stream royalties.  While Spotify pays around $20 per user in royalties, YouTube pays out less than $1.

YouTube Music vs. YouTube Premium | Social Media Marketing GTA

In 2018, Google got rid of its YouTube Red program and split the service into two new streaming venture: YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. Both YouTube Music and YouTube premium are ad-free, whether that’s just music or videos as well, and allows users to download content and play it in the background. YouTube Music also features an entirely new mobile app and desktop player.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music Premium is included in YouTube Premium but can also be purchased as a stand-alone product for $9.99 a month.

It includes music playlists, music videos, remixes and live versions of songs. Subscribers to Google Play Music get all of these perks as part of that subscription. Google Play Music costs $9.99 a month, so you are better off subscribing to YouTube premium…then at least you get YouTube Music Premium included.

YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is Google’s new paid all-encompassing ad-free service. It costs $11.99 a month and includes ad-free video, the option to continue playing music “in the background”, music and video downloads, and access to YouTube original movies and TV shows. It also includes YouTube Music Premium.

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