Music streaming

YouTube Music is now the fastest growing music streaming app in the West

Not ‘in the world’, but it’s a start


Music streaming apps have become ubiquitous in our lives, with Spotify and Apple Music currently dominating the market. Google has also been aggressively pushing YouTube Music since Play Music’s demise (it still hurts, man), and it looks like those efforts are paying off. YouTube Music is now the fastest growing music streaming app in Western markets.

A new study from Midia Research, reported by Varietyreveals that worldwide streaming subscriptions increased by 26.4% between the second quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021. A total of 521.3 million users are currently subscribed to music streaming apps, and 109 .5 million of them joined the previous year.

And while Spotify and Apple Music also grew by 20% and 25%, respectively, YouTube Music grew by 50%, making it by far the fastest growing app in the West. Admittedly, it still holds a modest 8% market share compared to Spotify’s 31% and Apple Music’s 15%. However, it’s getting there slowly but surely, especially since it was the only app out of the three to significantly increase its market share during that time.


Note how I said “west”. That’s because the fastest growing streaming app in the world is not YouTube Music, but rather apps in Eastern emerging markets.

Two services that are only available in China – Tencent Music Entertainment and NetEase Cloud Music – account for 18% of the global streaming market and added 35.7 million users during the 12-month period studied. And going further north in China, Yandex is experiencing unprecedented growth in Russia, doubling its user base in those 12 months and currently accounting for 2% of the global market.

Spotify probably won’t lose its #1 position anytime soon, but it’s good to see how YouTube Music is growing in popularity.

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