YouTube monetization beyond ads has always been somewhat difficult for the company, as the free service itself is good enough. In fact, several of the aspects that YouTube has chosen to give value to YouTube Premium seem somewhat artificial, such as being able to enjoy videos in the background or with the screen turned off.
The company has announced in its recent earnings release that YouTube Premium (which includes YouTube Music) has reached 30 million subscribers. They are 35 million subscribers if you count users who are on a free trial period.
The figure may seem large considering that at the beginning of the year they had 20 million, but low considering the time they have been wanting to grow their income via subscriptions and, above all, seeing their persistence calling us to subscribe.
YouTube Premium is so insistent that it has hundreds of memes on the Internet
The key that YouTube Premium and Music should perhaps be bigger is that they belong to the dominant (and almost only) Internet video company, which may be enough. But Google is not satisfied with the advantages that Premium has to gain subscribers, but insists so much that we switch to its payment plan that on the Internet we can find hundreds of memes that already make a joke of the matter.
Let’s look at some examples.
– ordure bizarre (@ordurebizarree) December 28, 2019
– Angel C (@ franda26) December 29, 2019
As we can see, users take it as a joke, and not by chance, but because it becomes really annoying to be asked with some assiduity if we want to subscribe to a service that we know very well and whose superior plan probably does not need.
Monetizing on the Internet is a difficult task, but Apple Music came later and has managed to grow much more
To talk about YouTube Premium and YouTube Music we must go to the launch of YouTube Red, the predecessor of the service launched in 2015. However, today, and for some time now, having a YouTube Premium account is equivalent to having a YouTube account. from Google Play Music, and vice versa.
Google Play Music hit the market in late 2011, so It is not unfair to compare the trajectory of streaming of Google and YouTube with those of Apple Music, which debuted on June 30, 2015, and with Spotify, born in 2008.
– Alex B 📉 (@somospostpc) October 29, 2020
Spotify just announced that it has exceeded 144 million paying subscribers, and Apple has not reported its figure since 2019, but in summer of that year it was 60 million, double the current figure for YouTube Premium and YouTube Music. In fact, it took Apple just over two years to reach 30 million.
A problem with YouTube is that the Premium plan does not offer something truly differential for many users
And not everything is a matter of Apple or Spotify. Earlier this year, Amazon reported 55 million Amazon Music users, although that number is tricky, because Amazon has users on a free plan. The reality is that YouTube has not managed to get close to its big competitors, despite having its services pre-installed on millions of Android smartphones, and being a clear dominator of its area and, therefore, also being a great actor on YouTube.
Nevertheless, YouTube Premium’s growth rate hasn’t been slow lately. In just over a year it has gone from 15 to 30 million. And from February 2020 until now it has added another 10 million to reach 30, which means that it is accelerating its growth rate. Its figures are not what you would expect, but the last year is far from being a failure.