Earlier this year, at his Stream On event, Spotify boss Daniel Ek announced that his company paid out over $5 billion to the music industry in 2020.

According to a new information revealed by YouTube, the Alphabet-owned platform appears to be fixated on chasing down its Swedish rival.

In a fresh newsletter sent to the music industry, YouTube’s Global Head of Music Lyor Cohen confirmed that YouTube paid artists, songwriters, and rights-holders over $4 billion in the last 12 months – money derived from both YouTube ads and YouTube Music / YouTube Premium subscriptions.

Cohen clearly had his eyes on Spotify’s No.1 position: the YouTube exec states that the Alphabet-owned platform’s goal is now “to become the leading revenue generator for the music industry”.

Additionally, Cohen says that YouTube added more paid ‘members’ in Q1 21 than in any other quarter since launch.

Today’s news follows a prior announcement from YouTube that it paid the music industry over $3bn in 2019 – equivalent to 20% of its annual ad revenue.

YouTube’s latest payout stats come just three months after we learned that the platform (across all of its videos, music included) generated $19.78bn from advertising across the course of calendar 2020.

This means that, over the past 12 months, YouTube once again paid the music industry equal to approximately 20% of what it earned in ad revenue last year across its platform.

Read more in musicbusinessworldwide.com.