Over the past 18 months, YouTube Premium and Music Premium has expanded around the world. Rolled out to India in March, the Google video site is particularly popular and competitive.

According to Bloomberg today, YouTube has over 800,000 paid subscribers after launching in India nine months ago. This sees YouTube Premium and Music Premium “growing faster than rival paid music offerings.” A report from the publication in May pegged worldwide subscribers at 15 million a year after launch.

Music Premium is the entry tier that provides ad-free playback, offline listening, and background play of songs for ₹99 ($1.40.) At ₹129 ($1.82), Premium extends those capabilities to all videos on YouTube.

Today’s report notes how “music is the driving force behind YouTube’s appeal, especially in India.” That low cost helps, but subscribers are also attracted to the audio-only mode that does not require the app to be open. Like in other YouTube countries, it’s only available by paying even as competing services have it as a free capability.

YouTube Music Premium India

India is the second-largest country by population, while it’s YouTube’s largest market at 265 million free users. Bloomberg notes how this “growth is also notable because India isn’t typically hospitable to paid services.”

The country is one of the poorer major economies, making its average citizen very sensitive to price. The leading free music services, Gaana and JioSaavn, have tens of millions of users, but few paying subscribers.

This lead also extends over Spotify, which is seeing most of its growth on a free tier. Meanwhile, YouTube last month began offering one and three month pre-paid plan options in India for “added flexibility.”

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com