|YouTube is in the music streaming game, and it being such a massive and well-known brand around the world, it’s interesting to see where it’s headed / Photo by: bloomua via 123RF|
YouTube is in the music streaming game, and it being such a massive and well-known brand around the world, it’s interesting to see where it’s headed. So far, YouTube has over 2 billion active monthly users, consumers who might also subscribe to YouTube Music for convenience. They are already on the platform, so it’s advantageous for them to listen there as well.
YouTube Music is also partners with Google, which already made YouTube Music the default music app on new Android phones, much like Apple’s strategy with Apple Music.
Additionally, YouTube is already the place most people go to listen to music, and YouTube going the extra mile means good business for them.
When it comes to streaming, people always want value for their money. With people using YouTube Music, the same is true. For Joe Maring of tech website Android Central, the use of YouTube Music over the expensive $120 a year subscription he has on Spotify is a worthy experiment.
Maring has observed how YouTube Music began and how it changed over the course of a year. Because it was YouTube’s first dabble into the music streaming world, Maring said there were some speed bumps along the way, such as the lack of a gapless playback and playlists that couldn’t be sorted that well.
After observing these issues, YouTube Music came back stronger. The only caveat that Maring had was that though he was already using an android, some of his music from Google Play Music wasn’t transferred to YouTube Music. Other than that -- and after a tedious re-sorting and digging up the music he liked and saved on Google Play -- the service was highly satisfactory.
He said that YouTube Music beat out Spotify first in terms of how much you had to pay to get it. YouTube Music has also apparently deviated from Spotify’s more cluttered approach of stashing liked songs even though some of the songs may not be interesting enough to listen to again.
|With people using YouTube Music, the same is true. For Joe Maring of tech website Android Central, the use of YouTube Music over the expensive $120 a year subscription he has on Spotify is a worthy experiment / Photo by: prykhodov via 123RF|
On YouTube Music, Maring says, “I appreciate that liking a song doesn’t automatically add it to your library. This is something Spotify does, and I always found it incredibly annoying as it would clutter up my library with songs I liked but didn’t necessarily want to save for endless listening.”
Another good thing that makes YouTube Music stand out a bit more over Spotify is its more intuitive algorithm when it comes to building playlists. According to the website of composite index Nasdaq, YouTube has Google’s backing to bolster this algorithm.
Spotify uses Google’s services to sort out its playlists, too, and this collaboration between Spotify and Google’s cloud computing platform is what’s helped them “crunch the data and generate personalized playlists for its 248 million users."
It remains to be seen how this will affect YouTube and Google’s partnership on android phones.
However, given that YouTube is still a newcomer, it still has its faults. Maring stated that YouTube would make “weird decisions on which albums to pull certain songs from.” This makes it difficult for artists who might be obscure. Some songs are not tagged properly, which could be an issue in itself when it comes to music metadata.
Before understanding YouTube’s success, let’s look at how it matches up with other music streaming services. In a report from The Motley Fool, a financial news website, YouTube performance, when put side by side with Spotify, shows just how much of a formidable competitor it is. Even though Spotify still has 248 million users and 113 million premium subscribers, YouTube is already very quickly gaining prominence.
According to Nasdaq, YouTube’s first run in India seems to be the most successful. Within the first week of its launch, it was downloaded 3 million times and saw an active user base of 10 million towards the end of 2019.
Although those 10 million didn't necessarily all pay, a large chunk of them still availed of the platform to listen ad-free. A total of 800,000 pay to use it ad-free, which is already enough of a number to make YouTube Music the “most popular streaming option in the country” as of late.
Here is where Spotify presents more patchy numbers because compared to these 800,000 paying users, Spotify has 38% total users in Latin America but only 30% of those are subscribers, and that gap was observed to be widening a whole year ago.
In terms of worldwide popularity, YouTube also beats out Spotify, which actually sits in fourth place. According to a report by business news website Forbes, YouTube takes the lead with 1.5 billion listeners, this is actually numbers outside those recorded under YouTube Music.
Before there was YouTube Music, most consumers would go on YouTube Red, where they could “watch and listen free of ads on the service.”
NetEase, with 400 million, is in second place, a lesser-known streaming service in America because it is mainly popular in China. The platform has 400 million active users and counting. In fact, recent data since the platform’s release in 2017 indicates that it's on a speedy track to eventually gaining half a billion users.
SoundCloud is third with its 175 million users. This, of course, also includes people who go on the platform to listen to new music, considering some popular artists these days began their career producing their own sound on SoundCloud. Although compared to other platforms, SoundCloud seems to always be “on the brink of real trouble.”
Time and time again, though, they seem to be thriving, and because of that, they had sufficient confidence to launch SoundCloud Go, their very own premium streaming offering.
In fourth place is Spotify, the best-known player out of the four but with only 170 million users. Even then, Spotify is on a continuous climb rate of success and has a very active premium-paying user base. In fact, out of its 170 million users, half pay for premium access. Spotify would still want to continue on this path of success, which is why they are actively competing with other offerings from other platforms.