Though YouTube wasn't created to be a streaming music service, the Google-owned platform remains the single most-used website in the world to listen to music legally. While competitors like Spotify and Apple Music are growing by leaps and bounds, the majority of music lovers all around the world still prefer to head to YouTube to hear their favorites.
Every year, the IFPI (the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) publishes its Music Consumer Insight Report, which analyzes how millions of people in the world interact and access music. This year, one of the focuses of the report was YouTube, which is becoming as controversial as it is popular to many in the music industry.
According to the 2017 report, the video takes up 55% of all time dedicated to on-demand streaming. Incredibly, YouTube is responsible for 46% of all on-demand streaming time.
For comparison, all other on-demand streaming channels, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer, Napster, and the handful of others that have been able to collect even a minimal number of either free or paid users, make up the rest of listening time (just 45% combined), so it's clear that none of them come even close to matching the ubiquity of YouTube.
According to the report, 85% of YouTube users went there for music in just the past month (from when the information was compiled). That adds up to about 1.3 billion people—several times larger than the total number of listeners who have signed up for a proper streaming platform like Spotify (which now has over 100 million users) or Apple Music (which is approaching 30 million).