YouTube Music Is Growing 60% Faster Than All Other Streaming Music Services Combined

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Does this make any sense?  Spotify is struggling to add paying subscribers, while YouTube music video views are surging on greater selection and totally free content.  In fact, according to stats compiled by Nielsen, YouTube delivered 60.6 percent more streams than all audio-only, on-demand streaming music services combined, free or paid, during the first half of 2015.

That includes Spotify, TIDAL, Apple Music, Rhapsody, Rdio, Xbox Music, Cricket (Muve), Google Play, all of whom YouTube Music eclipses (we’re not including streaming radio giant Pandora into this equation).

Overall, YouTube (which includes VEVO) served 76.6 billions music video streams during the first half of this year, a gain of 109.2 percent, while all other audio-only streaming music services delivered 58.6 billion streams, a gain of 74.2 percent.  That’s a different of 18 billion songs.

Overall, music streams (video+audio) surged 92.4 percent to 135.2 billion for the half-year.

Spotify now counts 20 million paying subscribers, and 55 million free, ad-supported users.  YouTube’s planned paid platform, Music Key, doesn’t have a known launch date.

42 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    “Does this make any sense?”

    Yes — a song today consists of an audio track and a video track.

    Nobody wants half a song.

    • Pandora pays too much

      The stats above are incorrect if it includes Pandora in the definition of “audio only streaming music services”. In the first half of 2015, Pandora played 10.6 billion HOURS of songs in the U.S. and Australia. That’s 636 billion minutes of song streaming. Divide by 4 (which is much longer than the average play of a YouTube song) and it’s 159 billion songs played by Pandora in the first half of 2015. In other words, Pandora streams more songs than all of the internet based services combined.

      Of course, to put this in context, radio stations in the U.S. played the equivalent of 10 times the amount of songs that Pandora played during that same period.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        Good point, that’s non-interactive radio streaming but of course fits into the umbrella for audio-only. Let me clarify that point above. Thanks! Paul.

      • Remi Swierczek

        Most important, all terrestrial Radio stations stream globally 100x more than Pandora!
        From this perspective YouTube is just a niche activity directed to “NO PURPOSE IN LIFE YET” teenage crowd.

    • Gnome Sane

      The “totally free content” aspect probably doesn’t hurt either….

    • Anonymous

      Keep telling yourself that. Maybe if you waste enough of everyone’s time typing it, it will eventually come true. Until then the vast majority of music is consumed passively while multitasking. That includes driving, working, exercising, working on chores/tasks, gaming, eating, etc. I’ll give you a hint.. the majority of the time people are not watching music videos during those activities.

      OTA Radio + Internet Radio + On-Demand streaming + music downloads/CDs/etc. = >95% of all music listening. Likely >99%.

      • Anonymous

        To suggest that YouTube is being used to stream music passively in the background while people do other things is absurd. People are listening to singles. Who wants to click back to wait 5-15 seconds and skip an ad EVERY VIDEO? You probably still listen to CDs. They are using Spotify free for that.

    • Versus

      False. I would say the ration of time I listen to music as audio alone vs. with a video is around 1000:1.

  2. Anonymous

    2015 is a great year to be a songwriter! I can barely afford a latte on these stupendous royalties! Thank you streaming services from the bottom of my heart (wallet).

  3. Remi Swierczek

    YouTube delivers 30 billion dollars of MUSIC and collects 1.5 billion dollars in MUSIC related advertising!

    STOP advertising MEAT GRINDER and double Google with MUSIC revenues in 5 years.

    Larry Page is looking for moonshots but is blindfolded by ad intoxicated MBA crowd.
    Time for simplicity and logic Mr. Page, let’s become business partners and friends of MUSIC.

  4. Mark

    All these compressed streamers are just killing music and deforming people’s ears.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, clearly. Streaming, by allowing people to enjoy music anywhere at any time, more frequently and diversely than ever before, without having to pay $15 for 1 out of 10 songs, is ruining music. Get a clue.

      • DavidB

        Give me an example of when you had to pay $15 to get one song out of ten. Note that it would have to be a song that was not available as a single download, a CD single, or a track on an EP, and it would have to be a track on an album with no other tracks that you wanted. Just one example, please, or forever hold your peace.

        I’m not saying there has never been such a situation, but I think it is extremely rare.

        • dcguzman

          I was shocked on what I read. Is nostalgia blind you from the truth? I encouraged you and everyone here to at least see all the discography of your favorite artists on Spotify, especially girl bands and boy bands at that time. See for the truth how on how the music industry screw its customers since the beginning.

          The only boybands that are successful even to this day from the 90s are N Sync and Backstreet Boys. There discography proves why. I even forgot 99 percent of boybands because of obscurity. All 4 one? Damage? Code Red? Human Nature? 5ive? 911? 4PM? Even New Kids on the Block.

          Dont pretend that you know other songs of New kids on the Block besides Step by Step. Theyre too obscure today they literally need the Backstreet Boys for there world tour 3 years ago. You can even watch there concert on youtube.

          Oh now you reply you wont watch it on youtube because of your principles? Safe harbor is already won by youtube on court. Youtube is legal and uploading a video for sake of uploading isnt punishable by law. Do I have to explain what happened with Viacom VS Youtube? Its already settled last year BTW.

          • dcguzman

            Not only Step by Step is a one hit wonder, there mild success in the states are from forgettable singles that become victims of obscurity. Reminds me of Menudo if you all dont know who they are, Ricky Martin is a member of that group. Or better yet, Alanis “great career” in Canada:


            Not Alanis Morisette, Alanis. She’s actually more popular than Celine Dion and a teenage superstar. She even called canadian Madonna.

          • dcguzman

            Not only Step by Step is a one hit wonder, there mild success in the states are from forgettable singles that become victims of obscurity. Reminds me of Menudo if you all dont know who they are, Ricky Martin is a member of that group. Or better yet, Alanis “great career” in Canada:


            Not Alanis Morisette, Alanis. She’s actually more popular than Celine Dion and a teenage superstar. She even called canadian Madonna.

          • dcguzman

            Not only Step by Step is a one hit wonder, there mild success in the states are from forgettable singles that become victims of obscurity. Reminds me of Menudo if you all dont know who they are, Ricky Martin is a member of that group. Or better yet, Alanis “great career” in Canada:

            Google Too Hot Alanis

            Not Alanis Morisette, Alanis. She’s actually more popular than Celine Dion and a teenage superstar. She even called canadian Madonna.

          • DavidB

            Is that a reply to my comment? Because it doesn’t look like one.

            I have frequently seen the complaint that in the ‘old days’ it was necessary to but a $15 album to get just one or two songs. I have several times challenged people to produce an example, and I would be genuinely interested to see one. So far, I haven’t.

          • dcguzman

            So youre stubborn then. Youre a lost cause just like Paul and believe the music armageddon. Reminds me of fundamental christians believe in the rapture. Again see the whole discography of your favorite artists and you can literally choose few of what you like. Almost all of them are filler songs. I give the reader, not you because youre a lost cause examples:

            Korn—-> Any album in there whole discography besides Freak on a Leash.
            4PM—-> Sukiyaki, and thats it. And I search for them in wikipedia they have albums.
            Divinyls—–> May the lead singer R.I.P. but they are real recording bands with albums. In fact, theyre formed in 1980 10 years before there hit I touch Myself.
            Limp Bizkit—> Chocolate Starfish Flavored Water. Even there hardcore fans hate the album. But its Keep on Rollin’ the one that give them mainstream success.
            Damage—> If you still dont know who they are then dont bother. Everyone knows them on Forever thats it.
            Human Nature—–> Theyre become popular with there cover of Eternal Flame, but its Wishes the one that give them success and its a hit. Ironic because they become popular in the world when there success begins to decline.
            Eagle Eye Cherry—-> Yes. He have a album seen it on Spotify. Not a single. Do you know its rumored he is Alanis Morrisette brother?
            Cake—> LOL. I like there cover of I will Survive though, but still cant believe they have albums before and after there one hit wonder The Distance.

          • DavidB

            English may not be your first language, so maybe you didn’t understand my challenge. I want examples where the only way to obtain a song was to buy a $15 album containing that song and no others which you wished to obtain. If you have such examples, please list them.

            I am not going to waste my time going through the things you mentioned unless you can first say which songs you think meet my challenge. But out of curiosity I did check one item. You mentioned the Limp Bizkit album ‘Chocolate Starfish Flavored Water’, and implied that ‘Keep on Rollin’ is the one good track on the album. There is no song with that title on the album, but there is one called ‘Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)’, so I will assume that this is what you mean. But according to the Wikipedia entry on the album, this track was released as a single, so it fails my challenge.

          • dcguzman

            Now I understand you, but your challenge is hypothetical just like “if a apple will fall in a tree in forest far away, will it have a sound? In reality theres no singles at least on the record stores Ive been with. And Im a avid buyer of cassette tapes in the 90s. Singles become obsolete after the introduction of cassette tape recorder and albums.

            Albums itself is a change of music consumption in the 60s from EP to LP. In fact, the lost of singles is the reason why Napster and MP3 becomes popular. Are you a music fan in that time, or you just missed the so called golden era of the 90s?

            It seems singles becomes a thing during the early 00s, when CDs are becoming obsolete and outdated because of Itunes and Napster. I watched Korn Y’all Want a Single and its the only time I’ve seen a single section in the record store.

            If youre still confused and doubtful you should read and watch documentaries about the music industry. Theres always a reason why things becomes what it is. The people that pirate in time of Napster arent greedy selfish persons that wants all songs for free.

          • DavidB

            Absolute rubbish. I do remember the 1990s, and I can assure any readers who don’t that there were plenty of single releases. But don’t take my word for it: check the discography of any artist active in the 90s. For example, I just randomly checked for Tori Amos, who you might think of as mainly an ‘album artist’, but she had about 20 single releases in the 90s. Single releases were still a standard part of an artist’s promotional strategy, as they offered the best chance of getting radio play. It may have been difficult to find every single release immediately in a small record store, but anyone who really wanted a title would be able to order it from a store or by mail order. The point of my ‘challenge’ is to refute the constant unsupported assertion that in the days before the internet it was necessary to buy an album just to get one or two desirable tracks. In my experience this was a rarity. The main exception would be where an artist recorded a ‘guest’ contribution of some kind to someone else’s album (or a film soundtrack album). In these cases a keen fan of that artist might need to buy the whole album to get that track, even if they had no interest in the other contents. That might be annoying, but it would really only affect a fan who was keen to collect everything by an artist, which is not typical.

          • dcguzman

            Did I comment youre a lost cause? I did comment on that. I really want to read your wall of text on what excuse you’ll try to debate, but I stopped reading after checked discography Tori Amos 90s 20 singles. Whose more right here? The company like Apple and Spotify that forced to buy a whole discography of a artist? Regardless if that artist only have one hit single? Or a person that comment on a click bait website about his selected memory because of nostalgia?

            According to Spotify, Tori Amos only have 3 singles(EP) in the 90s. And I never read a article that Tori Amos is pulling out from Spotify. The singles youre remembered about are for the DJs and promotional copies at that time. There are far too many people in the internet thats complaining that there are no singles that they bought. At all.

            You are a strong evidence that heard the apple fall in the forest far away, and I applaud you for that. Too bad the mythical selling of CD or cassette singles at that time are hard to prove. If so Napster isnt justifiable, but history says it is.

          • Martin Weeks

            Hmm… $15.00 for one song ‘eh? Let’s see, I’ve spent a fortune then on wonderful CD’s and records of: LittleFeat, Byrds, Beatles, Stones, CS&N, Joni Mitchell, Earth Wind & Fire, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Alice Cooper, Bella Fleck, Danny Gatton, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles…etc. Funny, we used to love to listen to the “B” Side of Albums because we knew that the music industry Censors wouldn’t dare let anything musically sophisticated be played on the Radio, but the Side Two of the album nearly always had great music on it that was always better than whatever was being “Mainstreamed” out to the public. Youtube is just doing what Television and Radio was doing when we were kids. New ideas? Hardly. Same old greedy appealing to the lowest common denominator business. (trivia: Stairway to Heaven was not even a single release when Zep’s #4 album was released. It was criticized by crittics as Zep gone commercial) trivia Have a Cigar by P.Flyd and the entire album “Welcome to the Machine” was all about the corrupt Music Biz and the music biz made a fortune on it and Pink Floyed got rich.)
            Perhaps you wouldn’t be so incensed by the $15.00 price tag if the quality of song was better. I’ve never ever felt ripped off for buying a CD…but then again I like talented musicians who write brilliant music. But that’s just me…spend your money as you please, just don’t rip off the artist or songwriter okay?

          • dcguzman

            Abbey Road B side sucks and even the members knew it. The hell are you talking about? And if you think I didnt listen to it I did. It feels rushed. The only good part of that side is Ringo Starr drum solo. As for cable oh wow. The most hated company in america is from a cable company Comcast. Are you sure thats not Stockholm syndrome youre experiencing?

          • DavidB

            I am commenting here because there is no reply button for your previous comment. I’m not going to respond in detail because I don’t understand most of it. I will just pick out one intelligible factual detail, which is your claim that Tori Amos only released 3 singles in the 1990s. You base this on a discography on Spotify. You should know that discographies on streaming services are very incomplete. If you check out the Tori Amos discography on Wikipedia you will find that she did indeed release about 20 singles in the 90s. These were not just DJ or promotional releases, as is shown by the fact that most of them reached chart positions in various countries. When you claim that artists seldom released singles in the 90s you simply don’t know what you are talking about. It was absolutely standard practice for the most commercially promising two or three songs from an album to be released as singles. In practice, the ‘singles’ were usually CDs with 4 or 5 tracks, including bonus material such as outtakes and live versions, to encourage fans to buy the singles *as well as* the album.

          • dcguzman

            Sorry I didnt read your comment before I typed this reply. To make sure the fact that the music industry is indeed selling 18-20 dollar CDs for just 1 or 2 songs, New York Times made a mini documentary up on youtube about Napster. “Napster Documentary: Culture of Free” thats the title of the video. Albhy Galuten, former senior V.P. of UMG, and Greg Hammer, former manager director Universal Records admits theyre indeed selling 18-20 dollar CD for one song the consumer wants. The documentary even says the one song per 18-20 dollar CD give them a lot of cash.

            Albhy Galuten even made a example out of Chumbawamba only hit song I get Knocked Down. He says his record label made a lot of profit because of Chumbawamba’s CDs. He says in the video after that its over and the industry starts crashing down. Even with all the evidence thats mentioned here, members of this site always ignore the facts and always blaming the fans why music consumers turned into piracy and free. Whats this website real motive? We want to know.

          • Troglite

            RE: Viacom vs. YouTube. Interesting reference.

            I personally think Google’s move to require copyright owners to agree to monetize their works in order to gain protection from pirated content uploaded by other users using Google’s ContentID technology represents a serious challenging to YouTube’s Safe Harbor claim under the DMCA. The inability to efficiently identify and block attempts to upload pirated content is fundamental to the judge’s 2013 ruling. I suspect this may have encouraged Google to reach a settlement (as they eventually did).

            Here’s a direct quote from the judge’s ruling:
            “there is no evidence that YouTube induced its users to submit infringing videos, provided users with detailed instructions about what content to upload or edited their content, prescreened submissions for quality, steered users to infringing videos, or otherwise interacted with infringing users to a point where it might be said to have participated in their activity.”

  5. Versus

    How would this change if all the infringing content were properly removed from YouTube?

  6. Troglite

    I think its safe to say demand would plummet. In fact, I suspect MORE than 95% of the remaining catalog would be “irrelevant to your average consumer” (this is referencing a similar article on DMN asserting that 95% of the catalogs on streaming platforms provide no value to the average consumer).

  7. JTVDigital

    And this is confirmed by constantly growing YouTube revenues for our artists since we launched Content ID monetization.

    Reminder: if you don’t (or did not) sell on iTunes, you won’t make money on YouTube or Spotify or anywhere neither.

    PS: currently listening to music on YouTube in the background, no need to skip / change or do anything manually, FYI.

  8. Anonymous

    It is a good thing that music is being consumed. The real story is the low rate they pay per stream.

    When will people finally understand this?

  9. cya

    Why no mention of soundcloud?
    Check out Hurrah, Hurray for the N.R.A.
    175 million visitors/month look for music here.

  10. Steve

    There are too many articles that talk about the obvious problems in the industry and nothing providing a solution. At least on-demand streaming services pay something even though it’s ridiculously little – I always chuckle at my ASCAP royalties that break down the 85 cents I made in the fourth quarter of the previous year. The reality is that terrestrial radio has been playing songs for free since its inception and never shows up on any royalty. So Fair Play Fair Pay 2015 is going through Congress to change how it works, but the revolution is not going to start with a vote and a piece of paper. It starts with the artists and musicians working together to finally change how it works and how people get paid. PRO’s (including SoundExchange) need an overhaul, CRB needs an overhaul, terrestrial radio needs an overhaul, and finally the new guys on the block (Youtube, etc.) need a flat rate paid to the copyright owner(s) per stream whether it was uploaded by them or not. Imogen Heap, PeerTracks, Ujo, Aurovine, are trying to create a way to do these things through the block chain. So, how about a little less complaining and a little more solving. #IRespectMusic #MillionMusicianMarch

    • Martin Weeks

      In on or about the year 2000, several of the most legendary bands/musicians in the entire history of rock and roll music all basically got fed up with the music industry. They were all well seasoned and pro mjusicians in their own right, had logged years of their careers as session musicians, produced themselves and others and so on and so forth. But the Radio/Pro Industrial Music Industry simply did not wish to provide the backing and distribution they needed to sell their music and make a living at it. So they decided enough was enough and began building their own distribution of their own music via the internet. Facebook did not exist, My Space was only just beginning. You Tube was not even on the board, and smart phones were still in the realm of Star Trek. None of these bands have since bothered to concern themselves with anything mentioned above. They also don’t need to. Why? Because they maintained their loyalty to their fans. Little Feat, Aerosmith, Don Henley and so on are doing just fine thank you. And guess what? They sell their CD’s for $15.00, and they sell T Shirts, and they sell caps, and Little Feat holds a wonderful 7 day vacation bonanza down in Jamaica every year that not only lets their fans see them in concert but allows for workshops, and one on one meet and greets along with all the perks that come with staying at a tropical island paradise resort for a week. (yes they do play golf)
      What’s my point? They run their distribution, production, and so on themselves. They do not rely on the industry to do the right thing. Why should they? They already know going all the way back to the 1970’s that the industry does not care about their art, their worth, or their merit. But the fans do.
      Point is simple. Treat your fans with respect and dignity, and always give them the best you can do, and they will gladly pay what your art is worth without a fuss. Are you a musician? Or are you just another Internet entrepreneur looking for a way to make a ton of money without having to do the footwork? Now don’t get me wrong…I’m not supporting the industry for ripping off artists for millions of dollars every year…they’ve been doing that since the invention of the record album…and radio. The point is this is nothing new!!

      Does anyone really “watch TV” anymore? Hell now, their’s flat screen TV’s in every breakoom in every call center and business office in the world now. There are 47,000 different clone Cable TV Stations. Lifetime, USA, and so on. People turn on the TV’s for background noise while they eat their McSanwiches and stare at their FB Cell Phones. Want to protect your royalties? Spend the extra money to put real security on YOUR websites. Load a virus algorhythms for your downloads that will go off if someone tries to improperly download your music. If someone doesn’t want to spend a lousy $1.00 on an mp3 of mine? I don’t want their business at all. Yeah I will put a few songs on YouTube to get some traffic, but if you want to buy the CD you’re going to have to surf over to my website and pay for the music. I work hard to make that music. I’m not giving it away. So you won’t see my material on SoundCloud. But I do not rely on the industry to look out for my interests. It never has and never will.
      Littlefeat doesn’t miss the industry and doesn’t have to anymore. But they nearly died from exposure when they did try to work with it. Now they are happier than ever, and putting out great music when they feel like it. That’s Freedom. And it’s Capitalism. But they don’t rip anyone off when they ask for $15 to $20.00 for an album’s worth of great music. and if you think the annual Jamaican vacation is a rip off? Just go to their website and see for yourself. Bottom line is you get what you pay for.