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YouTube Hits 80 Million Music and Premium Subscribers

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YouTube announced that it now has more than 80 million Music and Premium subscribers around the world (counting users in trials). That represents a jump of 30 million users from 2021. 

In a blog post, Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen called passing the 80-million threshold “a monumental moment for music on YouTube.” He added, “Hopefully, these milestones demonstrate our commitment to becoming the #1 contributor of revenue to the music industry.”

In a statement, Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, praised YouTube for “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.”

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“YouTube has demonstrated their commitment to partnership with the music industry and growing revenue for all artists and rightsholders alike,” added Jeremy Sirota, CEO of Merlin.

YouTube’s latest level-up follows the company’s September announcement that it had paid out $6 billion to the music industry in the 12 months between June 2021 and June 2022. That amount represented a hefty 50% increase relative to the previous sum YouTube reported in June 2020: $4 billion over a 12-month period. (In 2020, the company reported that it had 30 million subscribers.) 

Cohen has set lofty goals for YouTube: “We want our twin engine of ads and subscriptions to be the #1 contributor of revenue to the industry by 2025,” he declared in September. That won’t be easy; Spotify’s Loud & Clear report said the company paid $7 billion in royalties to the music industry in 2021. That was a 40% jump from the $5 billion the service said it paid out in 2020.

Among other major streaming services, Apple Music reported 60 million global subscribers back in 2019, while Amazon Music reported 55 million subscribers worldwide in 2020 (neither company has updated those numbers since). Elsewhere, the much-smaller Deezer boasts 9.4 million global subscribers as of its Q3 2022 earnings report, while paid subscribers to the diminishing Pandora service were 6.3 million, according to parent company SiriusXM’s Q3 earnings report released Nov. 1.

In his blog post, Cohen seemed cheerful about his company’s ability to leapfrog its competitors, ending the short note with McFadden & Whitehead‘s ode to persistence, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now.”

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