Google’s Music Streaming Services Surpass 15 Million Users

Posted on May 8, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Google Play Music, Music + Videos, YouTube Music with 16 Comments

A new Bloomberg reports says that Google Play Music and YouTube Music combined just surpassed the 15 million user mark. That’s well below Spotify’s 100 million subscribers and Apple Music’s 50 million and is, I believe, the first real glimpse we’ve gotten at the services’ usage.

The Google Play Music and YouTube Music usage comes courtesy of two sources familiar with the numbers, Bloomberg says. And it includes some users who are still on promotional trials.

As the publication notes, the figure may seem a bit low compared to the market leaders, but it also needs to be put in perspective: Google’s primary business model is ad-driven, and this usage is made up almost entirely of customers who have chosen to pay the firm for the services. So it’s probably not a bad figure, comparatively. And I’m sure it’s higher usage than Microsoft ever saw with Zune/Xbox Music/Groove.

Interestingly, 5 million of those users are on the newer and, I think, inferior YouTube Music service, which debuted last May.

Google didn’t confirm the 15 million users milestone, but it did say that usage in the two services grew by 60 percent between March 2018 and March 2019. And YouTube TV, the company’s cord-cutting service, has an additional 1 million users.

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Comments (16)

16 responses to “Google’s Music Streaming Services Surpass 15 Million Users”

  1. Alex Taylor

    Not really a surprise at all - I think GPM is a well executed offering.

    I like having locally stored music, "all access" on demand, the Pandora-like radio features, and online music locker for content I own that's not on the above, seamlessly in a single interface.

    As with much Google does, the missing link is brand awareness. Spotify seem to do a lot of carrier bundling deals, and Apple's trial and marketing are as slick as we'd expect, but honestly have most people even heard of GPM?

    I don't think YouTube Music is any more of a winning brand if they still don't promote it.

    I see a parallel to the very limited Nexus/Pixel visibility outside a few markets - no actual human beings I've met know that Google has marketed/made phones...

    • Chris_Kez

      In reply to agt4:

      YouTube forces me to dismiss a free trial offer for premium just about every single day I use the app. Given how many people use the app I don't think awareness of the paid service is an issue. I think people just don't want to pay.

  2. bassoprofundo

    Anyone else feel this move/rebranding evokes shades of Microsoft's Everything-is-Xbox move back in the day? I realize, of course, that streaming music is closer to YouTube's core streaming video business than it was to Xbox's gaming business, but still... If they call Stadia "YouTube Gaming", I'm just done...

  3. bluvg

    If they bring the YouTube Music app up to parity with Google Play Music, it's their game to lose. They are the only ones with the YouTube catalog. The app isn't great, though, and the upload support in Google Play Music is sorely missing.

  4. Trickyd

    Spot on about it being customers that have chosen to pay for services (ad-free) I happily subscribe to YouTube music just to get ad-free YouTube videos - in Europe its the only way to get YouTube Premium - and I don't listen to music on it much ( that's not a criticism I have Tidal for music) , so the music numbers will appear higher than are actually using it.

  5. Dryloch

    If more people knew Play Music comes with commercial free YouTube they would do a lot better. I have been on it for years and watch a lot of YouTube

  6. troughley

    With the gradual move to YouTube Music, even though it is free with YouTube Premium I have already made the move to Amazon Music. The YT Music experience is not for me.

  7. IanYates82

    Google Play Music has been a no brainer. Paying for full YouTube and getting GPM for free on the side, for up to 6 people, has been great. Works very well with the Google Home devices we've now got around the house, etc.

  8. Bats

    Speaking about ad-driven....when I do a Google Search I see two very small text ads. When I go to, I see 1,2....6 visual image ads. OMG.

  9. Stooks

    Typical Google fashion.....confuse the FFFFF out of the customer with multiple apps for the same thing. Like Android messenger, Hangouts, DUO and ALLO.

    You can watch that video on.....


    YouTube Red

    YouTube Gaming?

    YouTube TV

    Google Play videos


  10. Tony Barrett

    I've been a GPM subscriber for about 3 years now - it's always worked great, and the family plan is very good VFM. Not so sure about YTM at the moment though - there's a lot it can't do yet, but I can see Google moving across to YTM at some point - it's just their nature. Icing on the cake for me is the integration with Google Home, and the Chromecast Audio. Fantastic multi-room audio combination for little outlay.

  11. dcdevito

    Since moving to the iPhone, I am really enjoying Apple Music. Ii find it to be 100x better than GPM and 1000x better than YTM.

  12. glenn8878

    It seems low, not because it's an ad driven company, but because Android has over 1 billion users worldwide, and Apple has a much lower installed base. And sadly, this proves Microsoft can't match Google despite having the same resources like money. It seems like one company dominates a category, but are unable to translate that domination in other categories. However, Google seems to be more adept with Android, Chrome, and Chromecast.

  13. briantlewis

    Google Play Music is largely a disappointment. You get YouTube Red as part of the deal, so that's good. You get a set of silly limitations (like maximum devices you can attach and remove per year) - which makes my pattern of semi annual phone changes just stop working at some point with Google Music. Spotify DGAF, neither does Apple Music.

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