Tech giant Alphabet published its latest financial results yesterday, and as is now customary, they included a breakdown of YouTube’s advertising revenues. The bad news is that they’re shrinking not growing.

YouTube ads generated $6.69bn in the first quarter of 2023, down 2.6% from $6.87bn a year ago.

There was more positive news on subscriptions though, if not exact figures. Alphabet’s ‘Google other’ business line grew by 8.8% to $7.41bn last quarter, which its chief financial officer Ruth Porat told investors was “reflecting primarily ongoing significant subscriber growth in YouTube TV and YouTube Music Premium”.

Perhaps we’ll get an update on the subscriber figures soon: it hit 80 million last November.

YouTube’s ad-revenues drop shows that there are still headwinds in the digital advertising market, although Porat offered an optimistic note, saying that there had been a “stabilization in ad spend on a sequential basis in YouTube”.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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