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 the demise of Play Music (it still hurts, man), and it seems like those efforts are paying off. YouTube Music is now the fastest-growing music-streaming app in Western markets.

A new study by Midia Research, reported by Variety, reveals that worldwide streaming subscriptions increased by a solid 26.4 percent from Q2 2020 to Q2 2021. In total, 521.3 million users are currently subscribed to music streaming apps, and 109.5 million of those joined during the previous year.

And while Spotify and Apple Music also saw growth of 20% and 25%, respectively, YouTube Music grew by a whopping 50%, making it by far the fastest growing app in the west. Granted, it still has a modest 8% share of the market compared to Spotify’s 31% and Apple Music’s 15%. It’s slowly but surely getting there, though, especially since it was the only app out of the three to significantly increase its market share during that period.


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

Two services that are only available in China — Tencent Music Entertainment and NetEase Cloud Music — account for 18% of the worldwide streaming market and added 35.7 million users during the 12-month period studied. And going up further north from China, Yandex is seeing 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 be losing its #1 position anytime soon — but it’s good to see how YouTube Music keeps growing more and more popular.

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