The 100 million figure includes uses who are on free trials, according to YouTube. The company didn’t break down how many are on YouTube Music versus YouTube Premium, the subscription service for ad-free viewing, background listening, offline video downloads and access to music. In November 2022, the company said YouTube Music and YouTube Premium topped 80 million paying subscribers combined.
“YouTube Premium helps maintain a thriving creator and artist community, providing them with an additional source of revenue from subscriptions,” Adam Smith, VP of product management at YouTube, wrote in a blog post.
In 2015, “many doubted a subscription model could thrive on YouTube,” Lyor Cohen, global head of music at YouTube, wrote in another blog psot. “They said the market was crowded and our platform was too different. Today – 100 million subscribers later – our distinctiveness is precisely what drives our success and why I still see so much room for growth.”
In the past year, Smith noted, YouTube has enhanced the Premium playback experience including adding the ability to continue watching YouTube across different devices like smart TVs and tablets and introduced an enhanced version of 1080p HD. YouTube also experimented with new generative AI features that Premium users were among the first to gain access to. For music listeners, YouTube introduced the Samples tab, a way to discover new music, a completely customized radio building experience, and brought podcasts to YouTube Music.
Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO, Universal Music Group, commented, “Neal [Mohan, CEO of YouTube], Lyor and their team at YouTube deserve enormous credit for achieving this extraordinary milestone and continuing to grow and drive innovation while making significant contributions to the global music ecosystem. Our partnership demonstrates that if you start from a foundation of respect for artists and songwriters, there are limitless opportunities to create thriving businesses that benefit artists and fans alike.”
Robert Kyncl, CEO of Warner Music Group — and former chief business officer at YouTube — said in a statement, “Having been at YouTube when we conceived of the subscription service, 100 million customers felt like a distant possibility. Today, it’s yet another signpost on a journey of extraordinary growth. The fact that YouTube continues to go from strength to strength isn’t just good for them, it’s healthy for the entire music ecosystem.”