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How Much Data Does YouTube Music Really Use?

Last Updated Jun 15, 2022
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The internet has made it possible that some of your favorite streaming services are available both at home and on your cellular device. But, we all have plans that limit data usage, and those plans can be costly. YouTube Music is one of the more popular services that is included with certain Smart TVs and phones. So how much data does the YouTube music service use?

YouTube Music data usage is directly tied into the quality of your stream. The bitrate of the music being played directly reflects on how much data will be used throughout the course of an hour.

If you are looking at the data usage on your cellular or home wireless plan, this usually is limited in the form of gigabytes, or Gb. So how much data does each hour use when it comes to YouTube Music? This depends on if you are using audio or the video features of the app. Keep reading to look at the approximate data usage and what goes into calculating this.

Audio Data Rate and Usage

Data rate is the speed at which audio and video files are encoded. It reflects the quality of the music being streamed, with a higher data rate meaning a higher quality of music. When you decide to choose a higher data rate, you will be choosing to use more data in return. 

Below is an approximation of how much data is used in the audio portion of the YouTube application at the corresponding data rate. It would take you around 9 hours at a high quality rate to reach 1Gb:

Data RateData Usage
Low (48-96kbps)~43Mb/hour
Normal (128-160kbps)~72Mb/hour
High (192-320kbps)~115Mb/hour

Other factors go into the data usage besides the rate. Bit depth, codec, and file type also are a factor when it comes down to how much data is going to be used. Every streaming service uses different files and types to present music or video to their consumers. Some services offer audio at a higher bitrate than YouTube music, and will eat up a larger chunk of data.

To learn more about YouTube, check out this article.

Video Data Rate and Usage

When choosing to play video in YouTube Music, you are significantly increasing the amount of data being used by your device. 

Considering you are using both the audio service and video service at the same time, it is more complicated for the device to process and includes more data. The amount of data you use will be depending on the pixel rate chosen for your video stream. The higher pixel rate you choose, the better the quality of your video will be. 

YouTube also uses frames per second (fps) to label the video quality of its stream, with a higher frame per second being a higher quality also. YouTube has a significantly higher fps than other streaming video services on the market. 

Let’s take a look at the approximate amount of data you can expect to use if you choose the video option:

Video QualityData Usage
144p 30fps30-90Mb/hour
240p 30fps180-250Mb/hour
360p 30fps300-450Mb/hour
480p 30fps480-660Mb/hour
720p 30-60fps1.2-2.7Gb/hour
1080p 30-60fps2.5-4.1Gb/hour
1440p 30-60fps2.7-8.1Gb/hour

You can listen to music with your Apple phone using these amazing quality earphones.

Tips When Streaming YouTube Music

If you are curious as to how much data the YouTube Music service uses, you may be concerned about your usage every month. 

There are some tips you can use to cut down on your data usage and still be able to enjoy the apps you love at the same time without the worry:

  • Connect to WiFi – Whenever possible, if you are at home or even mobile, connect to a wireless network. Many locations have free WiFi hotspots to connect to and searching for one while you are out and about will bring some relief to your cellular data use. If you are at home, connect your phone to your WiFi since home wireless plans usually allow more data to be used than cell phones.
  • Shutdown background processes – If you are using your phone you can prevent background processes from running in other apps on both Android and iPhone. This will cut down on data usage in other apps allowing you the freedom to use YouTube Music at your leisure.
  • Disable cellular data – If you are the type of person that barely uses most of the apps on your phone, there is an option to disable the cellular connection to these apps so they aren’t eating up your data while you aren’t using them.
  • Close other apps – To get the best experience from YouTube Music, close other applications running so you don’t have any issues with lag or pausing audio and video.

Now you know how much data YouTube music really uses.

Conclusion

In conclusion, YouTube uses a different amount of data depending on the lengths of the songs and quality of a music video.

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