Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Remember the days of the Great Covid-19 Advertising Slump? They appear to be firmly in the past for YouTube, at least. Its parent company Alphabet published its latest financial results overnight, and they include the latest figures for YouTube’s advertising business.

In short: it’s still growing impressively. YouTube ads generated just over $6bn of revenues in the first quarter of this year, up by 48.7% year-on-year from Q1 2020’s $4.04bn. Some other key metrics remained the same: the official stats still say YouTube has more than two billion monthly logged-in users, and more than 1bn hours of video watched every day.

(Which, since our calculator is to hand, means the average logged-in YouTube viewer watches around 15 hours a month.)

Alphabet did not provide an update on the number of subscribers for its YouTube Music and YouTube Premium paid tiers, which stood at more than 30 million at the end of September 2020, although that rose to 35 million if people on free trials were included.

During the first nine months of 2020, YouTube had added around 1.1 million net new subscribers a month, so if it continued at that rate, it could have around 36.6 million now. That may put the company on track for a 40 million announcement in its next financials, for the second quarter of 2021.

Music wasn’t mentioned during Alphabet’s earnings call, but YouTube has published other stats for its music business in recent months, in various forms. Its music boss Lyor Cohen blogged last November that more than two billion people a month consume music on YouTube – a figure that includes non-logged-in users.

Meanwhile, YouTube’s written evidence to the UK’s music streaming economics inquiry reiterated that it has paid out more than $12bn to the music industry globally so far, including $3bn in 2019, and that more than half of the revenue paid to the music industry comes from its Content ID tool – i.e. user-uploaded videos.

Image by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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