YouTube Exec Says 25% of All Viewer Hours Are Spent on Music — For Over 250 Million Hours of Music Consumption Daily

Photo Credit: Christian Wiediger

A full 25 percent of YouTube’s viewer hours are spent enjoying music, the Google-owned video-sharing platform’s chief business officer has revealed – for over 250 million hours of music consumption per day.  

YouTube chief business officer (and former Netflix VP of content) Robert Kyncl disclosed the noteworthy percentage during the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention, which kicked off today. Titled “Broadcast Britain: Reshaping Britishness on the Global Stage,” the YouTube-sponsored happening has booked speakers including former TikTok head Kevin Mayer and former Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden. (Dowden’s abrupt exit from the post resulted in Media Minister John Whittingdale’s stepping in to speak, however.)

Regarding the YouTube viewer-hour breakdown, Robert Kyncl specified at the RTS function that one-quarter of the platform’s global watch time is now attributable to music, with another 25 percent deriving from media companies and the remaining half coming from user-generated content.

Factoring based upon Google higher-up Philipp Schindler’s statement that there were “a billion-plus hours of video watched every day” on YouTube as of Q2 2021, users spend over 250 million hours daily enjoying music on the service.

Music’s YouTube viewer-hour stat is particularly meaningful given the prevalence of dedicated music-streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music – not to mention the popularity of satellite radio, traditional radio, podcasts, and different forms of audio entertainment.

Additionally, it stands to reason that a substantial portion of YouTube’s creator content also features music and music-related media, even if it’s not the focus of the production at hand – meaning that more than 25 percent of the Google subsidiary’s viewer hours could include exposure to songs.

Despite the presence of ample UGC and media-company clips on YouTube, other evidence likewise suggests that music remains an integral component of the platform’s offerings. To be sure, “song” is still the most commonly searched term on YouTube, according to Hootsuite.

Furthermore, the figure noted by Kyncl provides telling insight in terms of YouTube’s announcement earlier this month that Premium and Music had attracted a combined total of 50 million paid users – up from 30 million in November of 2020.

Finally, it’s worth bearing in mind that YouTube Shorts surpassed 15 billion daily views last quarter, according to Alphabet’s latest performance analysis. Even so, one recent study found that ByteDance’s TikTok, despite ranking behind YouTube itself in total viewing hours, has overtaken the video-sharing service in average watch time per user in the United States and the United Kingdom.

YouTube during Q2 2021 reported earning north of $7 billion from ads alone – up about $3.19 billion compared to the same stretch in 2020, which delivered $3.81 billion or so in earnings from YouTube ads.