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YouTube Music Made Big Gains, But Wasn't The Most Popular In 2021

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Google’s YouTube Music made the biggest gains in terms of how popular it is among streaming music subscribers for the year leading up to the second quarter of 2021, a new report from MIDiA Research shows. But the growth of 50-percent for that period doesn’t make it the most popular music streaming service. In fact, it doesn’t put YouTube Music anywhere near the top spot, landing it in fifth place instead.

What was the most popular music streaming service in Q2 2021?

The distinction of the most popular media streaming services belongs squarely with three companies and their apps. And, in order from most popular to least, those were Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Tencent Music Entertainment, conversely, took fourth place with 13-percent of the market by the second quarter.

At least for the top position among the best services, Spotify’s, that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon either.

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The company has steadily slowed in terms of overall market share — taking just 31-percent for the year in question, compared to 33-percent the year before and 34-percent the year before that. But its growth remains strong. With Spotify adding more subscribers for that 12 months than its strongest rival, albeit at a lower percentage added than other service providers. Amazon Music, for instance, grew by 25-percent, compared to Spotify’s 20-percent.

All told, Spotify managed to retain its 31-percent of the market share, compared to Amazon Music at 13-percent and Apple Music at 15-percent.

YouTube Music could still take this

Despite its positioning, according to MIDiA Research, YouTube Music still stands to gain the most. Its rampant growth is coupled with the fact that YouTube Music is the most popular streaming service in 2021 for the “Gen Z and younger Millenials” group.  And potentially that will remain the case going forward. That puts it in direct competition and ready to grow, with consideration for Spotify’s now “aging” core base of Millennial subscribers.

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Changes implemented over the past year by YouTube Music could help drive adoption more quickly too. Potentially making it the biggest threat to competing services.