YouTube Blows Past Q1 Forecast, Ad Sales Rise 21% To $8.1B

YouTube overdelivered on advertising in the first quarter -- growing a massive 21% to $8.1 billion in advertising revenue versus the year-ago period.

Analysts were expecting $7.7 billion.

“Watch time growth and a shift in brand advertising budgets from linear TV to YouTube continues to boost YouTube on CTV,” writes Michael Nathanson, co-founder and media analyst of MoffettNathanson Research. 

He adds that YouTube Shorts continues to see sharp growth and “monetization rate of shorts relative to in-stream viewing has doubled in the past 12 months.”

Ad revenue for YouTube -- which is owned by Alphabet -- does not include revenue from virtual pay TV provider YouTube TV or YouTube Premium. 

In the previous fourth-quarter 2023 period, YouTube posted a best ever $9.2 billion in ad revenue -- up 16% from the previous year. 



Most recently, March estimates for Nielsen total day TV and streaming viewing of persons age 2-plus showed that YouTube had a 9.7% share of TV usage --the best share of a streaming platform, up from 7.8% the year before. YouTube gained a 0.4 percentage point from February. 

After YouTube, Netflix was next at 8.1%, followed by Hulu at 3.0% and Amazon Prime Video at 2.8%

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