YouTube is a powerhouse for Google, with revenue up 46% to almost $7 billion

Susan Wojcicki

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YouTube’s advertising revenue hit $6.9 billion in the last quarter of 2020, bouncing back after a pandemic-driven deceleration in the middle of the year. 

That’s up 46% from the $4.7 billion YouTube pulled in in ad revenue over the same period in 2019, and was driven by both brands ads and direct response ads.

On Tuesday, parent company Alphabet unveiled impressive quarterly results, outdoing forecasters’ expectations with overall revenues jumping 23% to $56.9 billion.

All in, YouTube ads account for around 15% of Google’s $46 billion ad revenue for the quarter.  

“Our strong fourth quarter performance … was driven by Search and YouTube, as consumer and business activity recovered from earlier in the year,” CFO Ruth Porat said during an earnings call with analysts on Tuesday night.

CEO Sundar Pichai said more than half a million YouTube channels had live-streamed in 2020, including  artists performing in their living rooms to churches moving their services online.” 

Pichai also highlighted the success of YouTube’s growing TikTok competitor Shorts, a short-form video feature for smartphones. He said: “Videos in our new shorts player are receiving 3.5 billion daily views. We are looking forward to expanding shorts to more countries this year.”

Philipp Schindler, Alphabet’s chief business officer, praised YouTube’s “TrueView for Action” platform, which is designed to help advertisers drive sales by adding prominent “calls to action” and headline text overlays to video ads.

“Just to give you a few numbers, 60% of TrueView For Action customers are new to YouTube and we more than doubled the number of active advertisers using TrueView For Action in the first six months of 2020,” Schindler said.

Are you a current or former Googler with more to share? You can contact this reporter securely using the encrypted messaging app Signal (+447801985586) or email ([email protected]). Reach out using a nonwork device. 

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Amazon's ad revenue in 2020 is set to grow 23.5% despite the pandemic

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Insider Intelligence publishes thousands of research reports, charts, and forecasts on the Media, Advertising, and Marketing industry. You can learn more about becoming a client here.

The following is a preview of one Media, Advertising, and Marketing forecast. 

Amazon will continue to see ad spending growth in 2020, albeit at a depressed rate when compared with eMarketer’s earlier estimate. 

Amazon will increase its U.S. ad revenue to $13 billion this year, growing 23.5% when compared to 2019. However, it’s important to note that while Amazon will still see an increase in ad spending in 2020, the $13 billion estimate is about $920 million less than what eMarketer had predicted before the coronavirus outbreak. 
And Amazon isn’t the only tech company seeing a shift in ad revenues amid the pandemic. Google will bring in $39.58 billion in US digital ad revenues excluding traffic and content acquisition costs this year – representing a downward revision of more than $7 billion from eMarketer’s early-March forecast.
Similar to Amazon, Facebook may see an increase in net US ad spending in 2020, but at a much lower number than anticipated. 
Net US digital ad revenues at Facebook (including all owned and operated properties as well as Facebook Audience Network) will increase by 4.9% this year to $31.43 billion. That’s about $4.82 billion less than predicted in early March.
According to eMarketer analysts, Amazon may still be seeing an increase in ad revenue due to the fact that its platform doesn’t cater to the travel industry as much as Google does. And with e-commerce on the rise as the coronavirus lingers, Amazon’s estimated $13 billion increase in ad revenue will likely hold true.
Want to get insights like this, plus more, to your inbox each day? Fill out the form below to have a member of our team reach out to you with more information about Insider Intelligence.

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