Google offers insight into YouTube’s revenue for the first time in 15 years

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It is that time of the year when quarterly reports are released and we get a peak as to what’s happening behind the scenes for several big companies. The latest to do so is Alphabet, which revealed its fourth quarter 2019 report (PDF) which ended on 31st December.

As expected the company which owns Google performed well in the fourth quarter, raking in revenues of an estimated $46 billion, which is up significantly from the $39 billion the firm posted in Q4 of 2018.

Perhaps most interesting in the numbers showcased are those of YouTube, which is the first time in 15 years since Google purchased the video platform that such information has been publicly disclosed.

Naturally business is booming with YouTube ad revenue totalling $4.7 billion for the quarter and $15.1 billion for the year. Both figures are up significantly compared to the two previous years, so despite creators struggling to ensure their own revenues, the platform that they dedicate so much time and effort to, is doing just fine in that department.

“Our investments in deep computer science, including artificial intelligence, ambient computing and cloud computing, provide a strong base for continued growth and new opportunities across Alphabet,” noted Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google in the report’s opening remarks.

“I’m really pleased with our continued progress in Search and in building two of our newer growth areas — YouTube, already at $15 billion in annual ad revenue, and Cloud, which is now on a $10 billion revenue run rate,” he adds.

Precisely why Google, or rather Alphabet, chose to reveal its YouTube numbers now after all these years is unclear, but the platform is certainly doing well for the company, accounting for nearly 10 percent of its entire revenue.

The Verge posits that one possible reason could be the fact that Alphabet did not meet the projections and expectations as far as revenue was concerned, despite it being so high. The firm’s profits did however, greatly surpass estimations made by those on Wall Street, which may have prompted Alphabet to disclose all of its assets in this latest report.

Regardless of what it’s motivations may have been, it still looks as if creators are struggling to meet the demands of YouTube. This in spite of the company’s ad revenue for the platform being exceptionally high.

We wonder then where the disconnect is, and what creators will make of the ad revenue that YouTube is achieving currently.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.