A typical YouTube creator pays close attention to the size of their audience, but on February 1, the platform celebrated a different type of subscriber. In a post on its official blog, YouTube announced that its YouTube Music and YouTube Premium tiers now reach 100 million paying customers.
The nine-digit subscriber figure includes Premium and Music buyers who are still in their trial periods. Those services are currently available across more than 100 countries; their availability crossed the 50-country mark back in 2019.
YouTube’s paid subscriptions have changed a lot since Premium was first introduced (as YouTube Red) back in 2015, but they’re consistently attracted new customers, who are eager to remove ads from YouTube and take advantage of other benefits. “Through it all, we’ve remained focused on delivering a best-in-class experience to our global YouTube community,” reads the blog post.
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The service known as YouTube Red became YouTube Premium in 2018, and though its library of big-name programming dwindled after YouTube reshaped its Originals division, the platform found other ways to add value for paying subscribers. In recent months, Premium subscribers have been the first YouTube users to gain access to experimental features.
The YouTube Music offering has expanded as well, to the point that it appears completely different from the service that was first launched as YouTube Music Key in 2015. In a post accompanying the celebratory blog, YouTube Head of Music took a break from his beef with Nicki Minaj to acknowledge that change. “The YouTube Music app has become unrecognizable from its first launch, now seamlessly integrating music streaming with long-form video and short-form video,” Cohen wrote. “Connecting these experiences and innovating new ones…are critical in making YouTube the best place to be a music fan.”
Cohen also celebrated the 100 million subscriber milestone with an upload on YouTube Shorts:
YouTube is not only bringing millions of new users to the Premium and Music tiers — it’s also increasing the amount of revenue it generates from those subscribers. Premium was once available for as little as $7.99 per month, but a series of recent hikes have brought the service’s standard U.S. price to $13.99 per month.
Premium and Music subscribers aren’t subscribers in the typical YouTube sense, but even if they were, the 100-million-strong following would fall short of YouTube’s top channels. T-Series still has the highest subscriber count on the platform, with more than 258 million of them.