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YouTube advertising revenues grew 84% to $7bn in Q2 2021


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YouTube is well and truly over the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic caused for online advertising businesses last year. Its parent company Alphabet published its latest financial results last night, including strong figures for YouTube ad revenues.

How strong? YouTube made just over $7bn from advertising in the second quarter of this year, up 84% from the $3.81bn that it made in Q2 2020. That’s a Covid-19 bounceback, as can be seen from the fact that those year-ago revenues had only grown by 5.8% year-on-year, as the pandemic made ad budgets wobble.

In its earnings call last night, Alphabet offered some more context around YouTube’s growth, with CEO Sundar Pichai saying that it “paid more to YouTube creators and partners than in any quarter in our history”. He also updated the main public metric for YouTube Shorts, the service’s TikTok rival, which is now generating 15bn daily views – a big jump from the 6.5bn figure it had previously been touting.

Missing from the financials and earnings call was an update on how many paying subscribers YouTube has, including for its music streaming service. Pichai merely said that he was “pleased with the progress we are making with YouTube subscription products across Music, Premium and YouTube TV”.

The last official figure was 30 million music and premium subscribers globally, in October 2020. Meanwhile, in June, YouTube’s global head of music Lyor Cohen announced that the company had paid out more than $4bn to the music industry in the previous 12 months.

In separate news, YouTube Music also announced the latest class in its Foundry program yesterday. 27 more independent artists are joining the scheme, and will get “dedicated partner support from YouTube and seed funding invested into the development of their content”. You can find profiles of the 27 artists here. They are following in the Foundry footsteps of Dua Lipa, Rosalía, Dave and Arlo Parks among others.

Stuart Dredge

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