Do you remember when YouTube Music was first introduced? Without the help of a Google search, I'd guess 2019 or maybe 2018... and I'd be off by a few years. The service dates back to 2015, but it didn't catch on in popularity until Google introduced the paid subscription plan, expanded its availability to dozens and dozens of countries, and eventually sacrificed Google Play Music at its altar. The app's download numbers have subsequently soared on the Play Store and have now reached the coveted 1 billion milestone.
This number is certainly impressive, considering that YouTube Music had only crossed the 500 million installs a few months ago, in September of 2020. It took 58 months to get there, then only 8 months to double that up to 1 billion. Many of these are probably forced installs from people who opened their beloved Play Music app one day only to be greeted with the message that it's being killed and they should move to YouTube, and we can't know how many decided to stick with Google's offered alternative or how many jumped ship to another music streaming service.
What we do know, though, is that the team behind YouTube Music has released dozens and dozens of updates in the past months to reach a certain feature parity with the app's fan-favorite predecessor. We're still not there, but we're slowly moving forward — case in point: YouTube Music is finally coming to Wear OS smartwatches.