YouTube’s parent company, Alphabet, just reported all-time-high quarterly earnings–and a not insignificant portion of those earnings came from YouTube ad revenue.
The platform racked up $7 billion in ad revenue during the second quarter of 2021, which is around 11% of the record-setting $61.9 billion Alphabet reported.
That figure is $1 billion more than YouTube earned in the first quarter of 2021, and an 84% year-over-year jump from its ad revenue in Q2 2020.
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This means that, aside from a slight COVID-caused dip in Q2 2020, YouTube’s ad earnings have consistently grown quarter to quarter since the company began reporting stats in early 2020. And if digital advertising continues to explode, it’s very possible we’ll see YouTube making $10 million or more per quarter by this time next year–especially considering YouTube Shorts is on the verge of getting ads.
Shorts, YouTube’s TikTok competitor, was also highlighted in Alphabet’s earnings report. Alphabet/Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on a call that YouTube Shorts now brings more than 15 billion views per day–more than double the 6.5 billion views per day YouTube reported in March.
At the moment, Shorts does not run ads the way YouTube main does. But in May, when YouTube introduced the YouTube Shorts Fund to get creators of popular Shorts paid, it said it plans to “begin to test and iterate on ads” for the shortform service.
If and when ads are implemented wide on Shorts, we can certainly expect to see another bump in YouTube’s revenue from all those millions of viewers generating all those billions of views.
Alphabet additionally spotlighted YouTube viewership on TVs, something the platform has been pushing for years now. More than 120 million people watch YouTube content on televisions each month, Google CBO Philipp Schindler said during Alphabet’s earnings call, per CNBC.
Schindler also noted that connected TV is “the fastest growing consumer surface that we have.”
Overall, Alphabet reported earnings per share of $27.26 versus a projected $19.34, and the $61.9 billion it earned was well above a projected $56.16 billion. YouTube was expected to earn $6.37 billion in ad revenue.