YouTube Music Reaches 50 Million Subscribers Ahead


In the third quarter of 2020, Google reported having 30 million YouTube Premium and Music Premium subscribers. YouTube Music now has over 50 million paying customers.

According to Bloomberg, that figure includes YouTube Music Premium and the broader YouTube Premium service which provides ad-free viewing experience for all videos. It also counts those “still in the test”, with exact subscription revenues not shared today.

This milestone comes as Lyor Cohen was hired five years ago by YouTube to lead musical initiatives. The longtime and well-known industry leader worked on building a subscription business, which Google did not originally own:

He didn’t know where to invest in marketing to convert his free users. Should it target rich countries like the US and UK where marketing is expensive but people have money, or poorer countries where marketing is cheap but customers wouldn’t pay as much? ? He didn’t know how to prevent people who signed up for the service from dropping him, either intentionally or inadvertently.

Due to these shortcomings, YouTube Music did not gain popularity in the first 10 months after its (re) launch in mid-2018. Google responded by building an infrastructure and teams to attract and retain subscribers, while also spending a lot on YouTube Music advertising.

Today, YouTube is said to have “particular success in emerging markets” by converting free users of the main video site into paid, ad-free, offline access:

“The speed in these markets is incredible” [Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer] noted. “I don’t think we expected to reach 50 million so quickly. It turned out better than we expected.

Update 9/2: in its own blog post About the milestone, YouTube shared a few details. Cohen also said that YouTube Music was “not taking [its] gas foot anytime soon.

YouTube Music and Premium’s unique offerings resonate in both established and emerging music markets. We are seeing impressive growth in countries like Korea, India, Japan, Russia and Brazil where music is a major passion.

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