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YouTube Music and Premium hits 80 million subscribers

YouTube has announced that it has hit 80 million subscribers for its joint Music and Premium services.

Over on the official YouTube blog, the company’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen has revealed that “As of September 2022, YouTube surpassed 80 million Music and Premium subscribers globally, including those in trials”.

This represents a huge 30 million member spike since the same time last year. Cohen attributes this surge to new features like afterparties, which give exclusive access to special live events.

He also points to the YouTube Music app’s immersive quality, which encourages users to “download videos or enter long listening sessions”. Thanks to Premium, of course, you also get access to long and short-form music videos.

YouTube’s handy knack with a mobile network partnership helps a lot, too, having launched promotional team-ups up with SoftBank in Japan, Vodafone in Europe, and LG U+ in Korea.

Of course, a little context is valuable here. YouTube Music might have 80 million paid subscribers, but it still lags way behind Spotify’s 188 million as of July 2022. It might be close to Apple Music, which is likely somewhere between the 80 and 90 million subscribers mark.

Unlike the latter service, YouTube Music still lacks a Hi-Fi tier, which might be another way to bump up those subscriber numbers over the next 12 months. Spotify has long been rumoured to be readying its own high quality streaming offering, but is reportedly looking to demand double the current subscription fee for the privilege.

If YouTube’s subscription service could emulate Apple in offering this as a free upgrade – or at least a heavily subsidised one – then it might start eating into those formidable Spotify numbers.

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