YouTube has hit 50 million subscribers, according to a new blog post from global head of music Lyor Cohen.
The figure includes You Tube Music and Premium, as well as free trials.
The online giant’s subscription service has seen rapid growth in the past year. The last reported figure was 30m paid subscribers.
YouTube Music was launched in 2018 and is trying to catch up with long-standing services such as Spotify, which has reached 165m subscribers.
"We’ve got killer products in YouTube Music and YouTube Premium that deliver truly unique value to artists and creators and the best experience for music fans and video lovers," wrote Cohen in his blog post. "We’re in our own lane. There's no other place where fans can get uninterrupted access to the largest and most diverse catalog of music, artists, and culture. We’re making it easy for music fans to go deep and find their thing – whether that’s on YouTube or the YouTube Music app."
The addition of 20m subscribers makes it the fastest growing service. Users of the free YouTube platform are prompted to try the ad-free premium service on a trial basis.
Cohen recently described their “twin engine” approach of subscription and advertising in his Music Week interview. In June, YouTube announced it had paid more than $4 billion to the music industry in the last year and added a record number of paid subscribers in Q1 2021.
Subscribers pay £10 a month for YouTube Music, or £12 a month for YouTube Premium, which includes music and other ad-free video options.
Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group, said: “Our trailblazing agreement over three years ago with YouTube established a foundation for their commitment to subscription that led to the launch of YouTube Music. Today, that approach was more than validated as their service passed the 50 million subscriber milestone. Congratulations to Susan Wojcicki and her team for this important accomplishment.”
Max Lousada, CEO, Recorded Music, Warner Music Group, said: "We live in a highly visual attention economy, and YouTube has led the way in UGC and fan expression. Music has always been a pivotal part of their platform, so it’s great to see them become a dynamic force in subscription streaming too. We look forward to collaborating on many more creative campaigns that amplify our artists and ignite cultural moments all over the world. Congratulations to Susan, Robert, Lyor and the entire YouTube team.”
HYBE CEO Lenzo Yoon said: "Congratulations to YouTube on achieving this milestone. YouTube has enabled our artists to reach global audiences and connect with their fans, especially amidst the global pandemic. We are thankful and excited about the opportunities YouTube brings to the music industry, and hope to continue to work with YouTube in enabling our artists to reach more audiences around the world with their music and to engage and connect with their fans globally."
Subscribers can read the Lyor Cohen interview here.