YouTube Q4 Ad Revenue Bounds Up 15.5% to $9.2 Billion, in Line With Expectations

YouTube’s advertising revenue rebounded in the fourth quarter of 2023 — soaring 15.5% — in a strong resurgence of digital ad spending on the video platform.

Q4 ad revenue for YouTube came in at $9.20 billion, roughly in line with Wall Street expectations, continuing the momentum from the third quarter of last year. By comparison, YouTube ad sales fell almost 8% in Q4 of 2022. Note that Alphabet, parent of Google and YouTube, does not break out subscription revenue from YouTube TV or other premium services.

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Overall, Alphabet beat Wall Street expectations. The internet giant posted Q4 revenue of $86.31 billion (up 13.5%) and earnings per share of $1.64. Analysts on average expected $85.33 billion in revenue and EPS of $1.59, according to financial data provider LSEG.

The results come as Alphabet, after major layoffs last year, continues to make targeted job cuts across the company. That included YouTube’s pink-slipping about 100 employees earlier this month, as the division also restructured some of its operations.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, said in prepared remarks, “We are pleased with the ongoing strength in Search and the growing contribution from YouTube and Cloud. Each of these is already benefiting from our AI investments and innovation. As we enter the Gemini era, the best is yet to come.”

On the earnings call, Pichai said the company’s subscription services, which include YouTube Premium, YouTube Music and YouTube TV, are now a $15 billion annual business.

YouTube Shorts, the short-form video format designed to compete with TikTok, has more than 2 billion monthly logged-in users. On average, more than 70 billion YouTube Shorts were viewed daily as of the fourth quarter, according to Philipp Schindler, chief business officer of Google.

Alphabet ended 2023 with 182,502 employees, down 4.1% year over year. The company said it took $2.1 billion in employee severance and related charges for 2023.

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