Why Is YouTube the Biggest Music Service In the World? Just Ask a Music Fan
How do you listen to music? Do you use streaming platforms like Spotify, or do you head to classic YouTube for your musical fix? MusicWatch explores data to find out why fans choose the platforms they do.This article originally appeared on Digital Music News
Spotify has 115 million users (give or take 10 million). It works brilliantly on mobile, and pays artists 16.8 times better. It’s about 100 times better than the music experience on YouTube.
So why is it 100 times smaller than YouTube?
That perplexing question is now being tackled by MusicWatch, a leading music research firm. The company is headed by analyst Russ Crupnick, who started tackling this question with surveys. Simply, MusicWatch went out and started asking thousands of music fans a simple question:
“If YouTube is your preferred music service, why is that?”
Here are the three most common reasons that came back:
74% chose it as favorite because it was free
31% chose it because of its on-demand features
26% chose it because there were unlimited song skips
But wait: Spotify has a free tier also. In fact, around 70% of its audience uses Spotify for free. So what’s the difference? The answer is twofold: first, YouTube is subject to heavy video ad-blocking, a far less prevalent issue on Spotify. But there’s an even bigger aspect to the whole ‘free’ thing for the video giant…
The crushing advantage of total ubiquity.
That’s right: not only is YouTube free, but everyone can jump in. Without that context, the ‘free factor’ doesn’t make as much sense. But with that immense ‘network effect,’ it all comes together. Users can share anything on YouTube with anyone, with a near-100% guarantee the other person can check it out.
Other streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal simply lack that ubiquity.