YouTube Exec Says 25% of All Viewer Hours Are Spent on Music — For Over 250 Million Hours of Music Consumption Daily

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Photo Credit: Christian Wiediger

A full 25 percent of YouTube’s viewer hours are spent enjoying music, the Google-owned video-sharing platform’s chief business officer has revealed – for over 250 million hours of music consumption per day.  

YouTube chief business officer (and former Netflix VP of content) Robert Kyncl disclosed the noteworthy percentage during the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention, which kicked off today. Titled “Broadcast Britain: Reshaping Britishness on the Global Stage,” the YouTube-sponsored happening booked speakers including former TikTok head Kevin Mayer and former Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. (Dowden’s abrupt exit from the post resulted in Media Minister John Whittingdale’s stepping in to speak, however.)

Regarding the YouTube viewer-hour breakdown, Robert Kyncl specified at the RTS function that one-quarter of the platform’s global watch time is now attributable to music, with another 25 percent deriving from media companies and the remaining half coming from user-generated content.

Factoring based upon Google higher-up Philipp Schindler’s statement that there were “a billion-plus hours of video watched every day” on YouTube as of Q2 2021, users spend over 250 million hours daily enjoying music on the service.

Music’s YouTube viewer-hour stat is particularly meaningful given the prevalence of dedicated music-streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music – not to mention the popularity of satellite radio, traditional radio, podcasts, and different forms of audio entertainment.

Additionally, it stands to reason that a substantial portion of YouTube’s creator content also features music and music-related media, even if it’s not the focus of the production at hand – meaning that more than 25 percent of the Google subsidiary’s viewer hours could include exposure to songs.

Despite the presence of ample UGC and media-company clips on YouTube, other evidence likewise suggests that music remains an integral component of the platform’s offerings. To be sure, “song” is still the most commonly searched term on YouTube, according to Hootsuite.

Furthermore, the figure noted by Kyncl provides telling insight in terms of YouTube’s announcement earlier this month that Premium and Music had attracted a combined total of 50 million paid users – up from 30 million in November of 2020.

Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that YouTube Shorts surpassed 15 billion daily views last quarter, according to Alphabet’s latest performance analysis. Even so, one recent study found that ByteDance’s TikTok, despite ranking behind YouTube itself in total viewing hours, has overtaken the video-sharing service in average watch time per user in the United States and the United Kingdom.

YouTube during Q2 2021 reported earning north of $7 billion from ads alone – up about $3.19 billion compared to the same stretch in 2020, which delivered $3.81 billion or so in earnings from YouTube ads.

4 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    Yes, music is absolutely the best fertilizer on advertising and streaming farms!
    $300B in annual music goodwill have been shrank globally in 2020 to exactly $21.6B of ads and subs! Less than 33% of 1999 CDs, $40B = $66B today.

    Apple/Shazam, Google and few broke lyric ID services prevent conversion of music to normal merchandise and block creation of $300B global music business.

  2. Tommy

    Napster arrived and half of the market disappeared thanks to all the fans who thought that stealing music was okay!! Yeh, right! So many studios have closed down along with Record companies going bankrupt, not to mention all the bands who can longer afford to record new albums on no budget music. And with close to 80% fewer Pro musicians now, the music business is one huge mess. And illegal downloading was followed by Stream ripping and kids all swapping their music collections on stick drives! What is a musician to do? Go get a day job is all they can do in 2021. Ain’t much of a future in this free music business!

  3. Blobbo

    And 99% of that money is going to shareholders NOT to performers. Google is the worst thing to ever happen to not just musicians, but filmmakers, writers, scientists, anyone who creates content.