YouTube Rakes In $15 Billion In Advertising

For many, YouTube has long remained the sleeping video giant. Now, we see it as more active. There are 15 billion reasons why.

For the first time ever, Google revealed a breakout of revenue for YouTube, which earned $15 billion in advertising revenue in 2019.

By way of comparison to other ad-supported big video sites/networks, the sum is eye-opening.

Looking at the $70 billion TV marketplace overall, for YouTube this would amount to a 21% share. Just looking at a subset, the national TV marketplace of around $44 billion, it would be a 33% share number for YouTube.

If you are a major TV network, you now know a key score. Every traditional TV network group has a streaming plan. And no, it isn’t about Netflix. It's about ad-supported digital platforms that have amassed big ad revenue metrics.



Looking at the top TV networks groups — NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, Walt Disney, Discovery, WarnerMedia — estimates are that national TV revenue per year for these groups can range from around $4 billion to around $9 billion.

That puts many somewhat behind YouTube. Still, what’s not included here are the billion of dollars in program sales for premium TV networks, as well as billions in carriage/retransmission fees for many groups -- revenue generators YouTube doesn’t get.

But as TV networks shift to more ad-supported digital platforms -- especially NBCU’s forthcoming Peacock -- what happens to traditional TV partners TV stations, affiliates, and pay TV providers in their pursuit of better TV advertising revenue?

Currently, legacy TV-based media companies have always looked to keep these partners as part of any digital media expansion, with revenue-ad share or other advertising-marketing arrangements.

All that seems to be working for YouTube and Netflix -- those companies not completely dependent on pay TV distributors, traditional, virtual and otherwise in a growing direct-to-consumer media world.

One thing is for sure: a $15 billion figure will get everyone's attention.

3 comments about "YouTube Rakes In $15 Billion In Advertising".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 6, 2020 at 9:25 a.m.

    Wayne, in fairness, you have to ask what percentage of YouTube's ad dollars are actually coming from "TV" branding ad budgets. I submit that the answer is relatively few---but as the ads aren't classified in this manner, we don't have any hard data on this subject.

  2. Jon Swallen from Kantar Media, February 6, 2020 at 2:06 p.m.

    That $15 bn of ad revenue for YOuTUbe is a global figure and therefore apples-to-oranges if compariing  against the US TV marketplace. Google's earnings releae indicates the US accounts for less than 50% of its total worldwide revenue. 

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, February 6, 2020 at 3:45 p.m.

    Thanks,Jon. I suspected that.

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