Google happily announced that YouTube Music and YouTube Premium have surpassed 100 million paid subscribers. This impressive number marks a growth from the 80 million reported in November 2022.
During the recent Q4 2023 earnings call, Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, shared the exciting news that the company’s subscription business, inclusive of YouTube’s paid plans, now rakes in a whopping $15 billion annually.
According to Philipp Schindler, the company’s chief business officer, premium users bring substantial value to Google’s partners. He stated, “YouTube Music and Premium performed well. Premium users are delivering more value to our partners and YouTube than even ad-supported users do. On average, each additional Premium sign-up boosts earnings for creators, music and media partners, and YouTube itself.”
YouTube Music made its debut in 2015 with a $9.99 per month Red subscription offering ad-free viewing and access to Play Music. The Red subscription was later rebranded as YouTube Premium in 2018.
In the past year, YouTube took a stand against ad blockers, emphasizing that these tools violate its terms of service. The platform started displaying warnings to users employing ad blockers, making it clear that videos would be inaccessible unless the blockers were disabled.
To enhance the appeal of the Premium version, YouTube experimented with various approaches, including asking users to pay for higher resolution videos and presenting multiple unskippable ads. Additional features like mini-games and videos with enhanced bitrate were also introduced.
YouTube Premium’s reach extends to more than 100 countries. In December 2023, the service expanded to 10 additional countries, including Algeria, Cambodia, Ghana, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, and Senegal.
Highlighting the significance of YouTube to Google’s business, the platform contributed $9.2 billion to Google’s earnings in Q4 2023, a notable increase from the $8 billion reported for the same period the previous year.