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Summary:

Spotify is starting to see nine-digit play counts for some of its songs — but YouTube still drives far bigger audiences.

psy gangnam style
photo: PSY

Spotify helpfully reminded us Thursday that YouTube is still far more popular than Spotify’s own music subscription service. How so, you may ask? By sharing some numbers that put things in perspective. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii has become Spotify’s most-played song, the company said Thursday, amassing more than 200 million plays ever since it went live on the service in June 2013.

That’s impressive, but still not anywhere close to the play counts music videos regularly see on YouTube. The same song has seen more than 450 million plays on the video site, and that number doesn’t even include fan uploads, remixes and more.

It’s also worth noting that “Wake Me Up” isn’t actually the most popular song on YouTube. That honor goes to Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” which has now clocked close to 2 billion views — again only counting the official version, and not hundreds of millions more for live performances, making-of clips, fan uploads, etc.

Of course, comparing YouTube and Spotify is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. Not only is one of them all about audio and the other one all about video, Spotify also has a notably smaller footprint, being available in 55 countries, whereas YouTube is pretty much available all over the world.

However, that doesn’t mean that Spotify isn’t competing with YouTube when it comes to users who want to quickly, and possibly for free, access popular songs. And that competition could soon get a lot more fierce, as YouTube is rumored to launch its own music subscription offering in the coming months.

  1. You don’t have teens? Mine are like, what’s Spotify? And totally all up in YouTube for their tunes. Or something like that.

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  2. Youtube is available everywhere internationally, that’s not the case with Spotify. Its not available in India, for example.

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  3. YouTube is the world’s largest jukebox.

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