The most popular music streaming platform is not Spotify

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When asked to think of the best music streaming services, Spotify and Apple Music are probably the first two that come to mind. They could be followed by Pandora, Deezer, and Amazon Prime Music. While they all enjoy a healthy subscriber base, none of them are the biggest or most popular music streaming service – by far.

YouTube and its two billion monthly active users crush all the competition in terms of numbers and popularity. How YouTube, the video streaming service, surpasses the powerful Spotify in music? We will tell you.

Running Spotify

Spotify menu on a smartphone on a bed of rocks

Founded in 2006 and launched in 2008, Spotify has achieved critical success around the world. Home to 60 million tracks, four billion playlists and 1.9 million podcasts, Spotify is a leading destination for music and other audio content.

The popular streaming music service saw its first real growth when it launched in the UK in 2009 and later in the US in 2011. Spotify hit its first million paid subscribers in Europe in March 2011. It doubled that number to two million in September. of the same year. As of August 2012, Spotify’s total user base had reached 15 million active users, with around four million paying subscribers. The company quickly reached 20 million listeners worldwide and five million paying users, including one million in the United States, as of December 2012.

See also: 15 tips to get the most out of your Spotify premium account

Spotify’s numbers continued to grow by leaps and bounds. In May 2014, it reported a total customer base of 40 million, with 10 million paying. The meteoric increase continued the following year as well, with 75 million total users and 20 million paying users. Spotify reached 100 million total listeners and 40 million paying subscribers in mid-2016.

Today, Spotify has 345 million monthly customers, of which 155 million pay for one of Spotify’s premium plans. The service is available in 178 markets around the world. To put it in perspective, the world’s number two dedicated music service, Apple Music, had around 72 million subscribers as of June 2020, Statista reports.

Spotify’s millions can’t compare to YouTube’s billions

spotify vs youtube music cloud locker

While Spotify’s numbers are impressive, YouTube’s numbers are mind-boggling. The Spotify vs YouTube race isn’t even close. There is, however, a small caveat which we will come back to later.

Here is what you need to know. If you don’t count children’s songs as “music videos,” then seven of the 10 best YouTube videos of all time are music videos. Additionally, 17 of the Top 20, 27 of the Top 30 and 37 of the Top 40 are also music videos. In fact, almost all of the 100 best YouTube videos of all time are music videos (not chat content). It gives you a really good idea of ​​why people are using YouTube. Major artists no longer release their latest tracks on MTV. No, this honor is reserved for YouTube. Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito”, for example, has 7,087,915,396 views. There are plenty of other names in the all-time top 10 that you might recognize. These include Ed Sheeran, Wiz Khalifa, Mark Ronson / Bruno Mars, Psy, Justin Bieber and Maroon 5.

Related: Best Music Streaming Apps For Android

YouTube has a distinct advantage: it is a premier Internet destination around the world. In fact, YouTube is the second largest website in the world. It has the second largest search engine on the web and has over 30 million daily active users. They watch about a billion videos a day. Additionally, YouTube accounts for 37% of all internet traffic, and users watch up to 40 minutes on their mobile devices each day.

Specifically, YouTube is included natively on the vast majority of Android phones sold around the world. For 2020, IDC expects shipments of Android phones to reach 1.055 billion. Spotify, for comparison, ships on relatively few out-of-the-box phones. This gives YouTube a leg up on the competition. Google’s video platform is available in over 80 languages ​​in over 100 countries.

YouTube Music is another story

YouTube Premium Music logo in the app

Technically, YouTube is not a music streaming service. The main product of the website is video, although people surely use YouTube as their de facto music service. How can they not?

YouTube Music – a standalone music streaming service from YouTube – exists with its own online destination, app, and user base. The service first appeared in November 2015. Earlier this year it supplanted Play Music as Google’s primary / sole music streaming service. Like Spotify and Apple Music, YouTube Music is available in free and paid levels. It is available in approximately 95 countries around the world.

Still, YouTube Music’s numbers are pale compared to other music services, at least for now. YouTube Music’s paid subscribers total around 30 million, according to Google’s most recent data from October 2020. However, this is a significant increase from its number of 20 million in 2019. This means that Google Music’s transition to YouTube Music grossed 10 million new million from YouTube Music. users quickly.

More reading: YouTube Music vs Spotify: Can Google even compete?

Obviously, YouTube Music is a nascent service that follows Spotify and Apple Music far behind. YouTube proper, however, is so far ahead of any other service that despite its emphasis on video, it will remain the number one destination for music for the foreseeable future.


This is the twelfth article in our “Did You Know” series. We dive into the history books of Android and mainstream tech to uncover important and interesting facts or events that have been forgotten over time. What do you want us to cover next? Let us know in the comments and check out our previous entries in the series below.

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