YouTube is about to dominate the music streaming market

13 Nov 2015

YouTube Music has just been launched, the first music streaming service that actually makes sense to me, with it surely set to rule the market.

The digital age has added quite a few words to the English language. While Facebook initially represented social media in many people’s eyes, that has receded to just the one immense company, sure, but ‘to Google’ or ‘to YouTube’ have become verbs for many.

This can prove incredibly significant as, when companies like Google or YouTube – shorthand for searching online and watching videos – make a move into a new, yet related, market, they are primed to dominate.

Still, in a market as seemingly saturated as music streaming, could that still be true? Spotify is the name that comes to mind in this market, but there’s also Deezer, Apple Music, Pandora, Google Play Music, Rdio etc.

The market doesn’t seem profitable at the moment, and it is even throwing up casualties, with Apple-owned Beats Music set for a swift death at the end of the month.

YouTube has some real USPs

But YouTube has a genuine USP. Well, a set of USPs. Firstly, Apple recently spoke of its satisfaction with 6.5m paying customers, 15m users overall. It’s widely thought that this figure is growing and closing in on Spotify (75m) at the top of the table.

YouTube has 1bn active users a month, on mobile alone it reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in the US and it is actually attracting people to its homepage in huge numbers, something many websites struggle to do.

YouTube Music is something that can, therefore, dominate the market without even touching the current streaming user base, which is not lost on T. Jay Fowler, YouTube’s director of product development.

“I’m excited about being additive to the market, rather than just moving users through an ecosystem of apps,” he said.

Also, the user base is incredibly interactive, commenting, sharing, re-uploading, remaking etc. It has content from every artist you could ever want. If anything, every music artist seems to go to YouTube first to post music.

The perfect template

It is as close to the perfect template to enter music streaming as you can get. Now, I know Google Play Music should make sense too, given Google’s might, but YouTubers are actually engrossed in music. It’s what they do. This just makes sense.

“You’ll be able to quickly find music videos, tracks, artists and albums, but you’ll also see all the remixes, covers, lyric videos and concert footage that YouTube has to offer,” said Fowler.

YouTube launched its premium viewing service Red last month, with Music mentioned at the time. Now,  its time has come, with an Android and iOS app released in the US for now, with a worldwide rollout in the offing.

Oh, and Google will still operate its Google Play Music streaming service, with YouTube Music expecting some users to use both platforms.

YouTube image via d8nn/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic