YouTube may not be a TV network, but its advertising revenue sure makes it look like it could be. A new chart reveals how YouTube’s annual intake of ad dollars is quickly catching up to that of CBS’s and eclipsing AMC’s revenue entirely.

Business Insider put together the graph after pulling data from news reports, company filings, and their own Business Insider Intelligence investigations. The website found YouTube earned approximately $5 billion in global ad revenue in 2013. This number is much higher than AMC Networks’s revenue from the same year, which appears to reach around $1.8 billion (even though the network is home to hugely popular shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead).


While YouTube’s $5 billion is small in comparison to the roughly $8.5 billion that Business Insider shows CBS pulled in from global advertising revenue in 2013, YouTube’s trajectory is on a more positive path. CBS saw a loss from ad revenue around 2009 whereas YouTube’s stayed level, and right about the time CBS had another slight dip in revenue in mid-2010, YouTube’s ad earnings took off. According to Business Insider’s findings, YouTube has progressively and largely increased its ad revenue year-over-year, whereas CBS has struggled to gain similar traction.

Business Insider’s findings line up quite well with other reports and statistics from this year. Research firm eMarketer believes YouTube’s ad revenue for 2014 will top out at $1.13 billion in the United States alone, up 39% from the $810 million eMarketer claims the online video site earned statesided in 2013. And in October, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported yet another increase (13%) in digital ad revenue industry wide from the first half of 2013.

TV conglomerates may bemoan the fact that a single online video website is catching up to their ad revenue numbers so quickly, but YouTube’s ad strategies are obviously working. Maybe networks like CBS need to take a cue from the online video site (and other entrants into the online video fray) if they hope to keep their revenue numbers on the up and up in years to come.

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