Paul Berens

YouTube Music vs. Spotify

Elon Musk’s tweet about YouTube and its “nonstop scam ads” generated a good amount of chatter about YouTube Premium and YouTube Music, and elicited some thoughtful questions:

I agree with Elon Musk. Many ads on YouTube are very scammy and YouTube should fix that.

But also, Elon Musk not paying for YouTube Premium 🤯

— Hank Green (@hankgreen) June 7, 2022

I’ve been on YouTube Music since its Google Play Music days (2016) and it’s been pretty good, but I can’t imagine choosing Spotify over YouTube Music which apparently people do 3:11:

music streaming service subs
* Google doesn’t break down this number, so it’s not clear how many YouTube Music subscribers there are (vs. Premium vs. free trial).

So I was thinking about the comparison, and if I were to score them I think it’d go like this:

…Okay, the count so far is 6-1-1 in favor of Spotify, but then the one dimension that disproportionately sends it all the way back in favor of YT Music:

Deciding factor

I’m not totally sure I need to have a music streaming service—I could conceivably be satisfied rotating among my top 50 albums of all time (future post to enumerate)—but while I do it’d be hard to give up ad-free YouTube. At the end of the day this just indicates that I may enjoy music, but am no audiophile.

— ᴘ. ᴍ. ʙ.

  1. YouTube reports having 50 million Premium and Music subscribers 

  2. Assuming your tastes are fairly conventional (mine are), and assuming that the artists that have recently cut ties with Spotify (Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, et al.) aren’t all that important to you. (Joni would actually be a loss for me.) 

  3. It is a little surprising that this isn’t a differentiator for Google, since they acquired Songza, a phenomenal streaming and recommendation platform, back in 2014, and bolted onto Google Play Music. 

First published: 2022-06-13 | tweet | cast

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