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Google reportedly has 15 million paying subscribers across two streaming platforms

Google has surpassed 15 million subscribers to its paid music services. Bloomberg cited anonymous sources familiar with the tech giant who gave the figure as the paying audience for YouTube Music Premium and Google Play Music. The sources said that total includes customers on free trials.

The reported figures give some context to the ongoing efforts of various properties under the Alphabet umbrella to translate free media services into subscription platforms. Most updates from YouTube and Google about their on-demand streaming efforts have been in more general terms.

If accurate, the 15 million subscriber mark shows that Google still has a long way to go with its goals. Spotify recently reported that it mas more than 100 million subscribers, and even the comparatively newer Apple Music passed 50 million subscribers in its quarterly earnings call at the start of 2019.

The slower uptake of paying listeners could be a reaction to how long YouTube and Google have had free versions available to audiences. However, the transition is at least making progress, if slowly. Google is not in a position where it needs to generate subscription revenue in order to stay afloat, but it has faced continual scrutiny from many in the music industry questioning whether the licensing and royalty efforts on its ad-supported services have been extensive enough.

Anna Washenko

3 Comments

  1. I currently use the free tier of Google Play Music. I’m hesitant about subscribing to to the service as they are planning to get rid of Google Play Music and replace it with You Tube Music. The make or break deal for me is what Google plans to do with everyone’s cloud uploads.

  2. Another thing I’m hoping gets transferred over from Google Play Music to You Tube Music is the curated radio stations. I’ve been playing their Adult Contemporary station. Strangely, I haven’t seen any video or banner advertisements as I’ve been playing the station. I don’t know if that’s maybe because of a difference with listening on the website vs. listening on the app.

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