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YouTube brought in $6.69 billion in advertising revenue to start the year, continuing a downward trend for the video giant after past quarters of explosive growth during the earlier years of the pandemic.
The first-quarter revenue figure, reported as part of parent company Alphabet’s quarterly earnings on Tuesday, is roughly a 2.6 percent decline compared to the $6.87 billion in revenue reported during the first quarter of 2022. The video platform previously reported $7.96 billion in ad revenue during the holiday season, falling short of Wall Street expectations and representing an 8 percent year-over-year decline.
In a call with investors, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said the company was “encouraged by progress” in monetization for YouTube Shorts, which rolled out its revenue-sharing program with creators in February. The executive also said there was “significant ongoing subscriber growth” in YouTube Music Premium and YouTube TV, though the company has not disclosed subscriber numbers.
YouTube is now led by Neal Mohan, the former chief product officer who assumed the CEO role in February after longtime executive Susan Wojcicki said she was stepping down to focus on her family and “personal projects.”
In his first public message released on March 1, Mohan said his top priorities included supporting YouTube’s creators by improving monetization tools, increasing accessibility on the platform and focusing on growth in areas like gaming and podcasting. Included in those areas were YouTube’s short-form offering, Shorts, and its streaming products like YouTube TV and Primetime Channels.
The executive also noted YouTube will continue to contend with an advertising downturn that notably impacted the company’s revenue growth last year. “This is a pivotal moment for our industry. We face challenging economic headwinds and uncertain geopolitical conditions. AI presents incredible creative opportunities, but must be balanced by responsible stewardship. Creators, viewers, and advertisers have more choices about where to spend their time than ever before and platforms like YouTube need to deliver across a range of formats while investing in the policies that protect platforms from real-world harm,” Mohan said in his letter at the time. “As I look ahead to what’s next for YouTube, I’m confident we’ll put our full energy into what matters most for creators and viewers.”
Parent company Alphabet saw modest growth during the first quarter, with total revenue increasing 3 percent year over year to hit $69.79 billion. The company said it took $2.6 billion in charges related to the January layoffs that resulted in 12,000 employees — or around 6 percent of Alphabet’s workforce — losing their jobs.
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