YouTube Music and Premium launched their subscription-based service in 2018, after several false starts. The platform has risen to rank among the world’s leading music streaming platforms, coming fourth after Apple Music, Spotify and Chinese-based company Tencent.
The company announced last week that there are 80 million paying subscribers from both platforms, a sharp rise of 30 million from the 50 million on the platform last year.
Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube said that the company had contributed $6B in revenue contribution to the music industry, with 30% coming from user-generated content.
“YouTube’s twin-engine of revenue – subscriptions and ads is the real deal,” Cohen wrote in a blog post, “We’ve reached this 80+ million milestone by building a subscription service with the music industry that puts fans first.”
YouTube Premium is an ad-free service with several features that aren’t available on the ordinary YouTube channel or YouTube Music. Users can also download from the platform without the need for third-party apps.
The company now says it has paid more than $50 billion to creators, artists and media companies over the past three years; that total includes more than $6 billion to the music industry between July 2021 and June 2022.
Cohen joined the company after lengthy stints in leading music labels such as Def Jam Records and Warner Music. He also co-owed 300 Entertainment which he sold to Warner a reported tidy sum of $400 million last year.
“We are 7 years into the subscription game, and we continue to learn as we go. We know we can do better, and we never lose sight of that. It always starts with the user, and we’re learning what makes them want to join the party.” Cohen said.