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YouTube Ad Sales Soar to $9.2B in Blowout Quarter

In a blowout quarter, YouTube saw its advertising revenue soar to $9.2 billion in Q4 of 2023, up from just below $8 billion in the year prior and the quarter prior, and in line with what Wall Street was expecting.

In a statement, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted YouTube’s performance, noting that the video platform is “already benefiting from our AI investments and innovation. As we enter the Gemini era, the best is yet to come.”

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YouTube’s quarter indicates that the video platform is firmly back in growth mode after a quiet year last year.

On the company’s earnings call, executives revealed that YouTube and Google subscriptions, including YouTube Premium, YouTube Music, NFL Sunday Ticket, and YouTube TV, are now a $15 billion business annualized.

Overall, YouTube parent company Alphabet reported revenues of $86.3 billion in the quarter, up 13 percent year over year. It also repoed net income of $20.7 billion. Total advertising revenue, including Google search, was $56.5 billion in the quarter. Total Google ad revenue was just below street expectations, causing Alphabet’s share price to slide after hours.

YouTube, under CEO Neal Mohan, has made generative AI a top corporate priority, rolling out AI tools for creators and advertisers to use, while also introducing platform rules to crack down on inappropriate content like deepfakes.

“We’re obviously pleased with YouTube’s advertising revenue growth in Q4 and also significant growth in our subscription revenue,” Google chief business officer Philipp Schindler said on the earnings call. “I’ll reiterate what I have said before: YouTube success starts with creator success. We give millions of creators more ways to create content and connect with fans and more ways to make money and build their own businesses than any other platform. More creators means more content, which leads to more viewers and via ads and subscriptions. These viewers fund our creators and drive the eyeballs and engagement our advertisers want to keep this momentum going.”

YouTube is also in business with the NFL, serving as the new home for the NFL Sunday Ticket streaming service.

Schindler said that Sunday Ticket brought in more than 90 new advertisers in its first season, and touted the other football-related content it sparked.

“It gave creators new opportunities to create content and feed user engagement across traditional user content and professional sports content,” he added

That being said, executives also said that they continue to expect to take a close look at the employee base, following layoffs that impacted YouTube earlier this month. Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said that the company expects to take $700 million in severance charges in Q1.

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