The most popular music streaming service is ... YouTube

·2-min read
Two in five adults (44%) in the US use YouTube to listen to music, according to a recent YouGov survey.

Despite growing subscriber bases, Spotify and co are not the most popular music streaming services in the world. Music fans are abandoning them in favor of the video platform YouTube. In the US, YouTube is used by two out of five adults to listen to music.

The covid-19 pandemic has even reinforced this phenomenon, as the abrupt halt of concerts and festivals has pushed music lovers to turn to streaming platforms to experience music differently. Many have turned to Google's video-hosting service, YouTube, to help them do so.

This is particularly seen in the United States, where two out of five adults (44%) use YouTube to listen to music. And this is true regardless of age. While a majority of 18-34-year-olds use it for this purpose (53%), a third of those over 65 do the same. In comparison, only 10% of these seniors use Spotify and iHeartRadio to listen to their favorite songs or discover new ones.

It's a trend that is also visible in France, where YouTube is the number one online music service used by adults surveyed by YouGov. It is also twice as popular as Swedish giant Spotify, which is only accessed by 20% there. The country where the video-sharing platform is most used to listen to music remains India. More than 65% of adults living in urban areas use it, compared to only a third for Gaana, Google Play Music and JioSaavn.

While YouTube is popular in India thanks to its free model, the results of YouGov's survey for the UK are more surprising. Britons prefer Spotify by far to YouTube, which is used by only 19% of them (compared to 31%). The phenomenon is even more pronounced among 18-34-year-olds: 54% log on to Spotify to listen to music, compared to only 25% on YouTube.

Although the YouGov survey does not provide an explanation for the British indifference to the American video host, it does not affect YouTube's popularity within the music industry. According to Google's own data , more than 2 billion users listen to music on the platform every month. A particularly impressive figure for a site that never really intended to become a music platform in its own right.

Caroline Drzewinski