For the first time, Google on Monday revealed just how big of an advertising machine YouTube is. The company said that YouTube generated $15.1 billion in ad revenue in fiscal 2019, including $4.7 billion in the fourth quarter.
Google disclosed the numbers in its quarterly earnings report, which also included fiscal 2019. Until now, it and parent company Alphabet had folded YouTube’s revenue in with Google. “To provide further insight into our business and the opportunities ahead, we’re now disclosing our revenue on a more granular basis, including for Search, YouTube ads and Cloud,” Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said in a statement.
Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai told analysts Monday on the company’s quarterly earnings call that its YouTube TV streaming bundle now has more than two million subscribers, and that YouTube Music and YouTube Premium now have more than 20 million paid subscribers. The unit’s subscription revenue now has a $3 billion annual run rate, the exec said.
Porat said on the call that the company sees “substantial continuing opportunity” at YouTube with both direct-response advertisers, as well as brand ad campaigns. The CFO also warned that the company is committed to growing its subscription business, which carries higher acquisition costs.
YouTube has seen enormous growth, according to the newly released numbers. In fiscal 2017, the platform, led by CEO Susan Wojcicki, generated $8.15 billion in ad revenue, followed by $11.15 billion fiscal 2018. In other words, YouTube’s ad revenue has nearly doubled over the past two years. Google said that YouTube saw $3.6 billion in revenue in Q4 2018.
The disclosure reveals just how big of a business YouTube is. The ad-supported video site, which was founded in 2005 and sold to Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion, has long been viewed as one of Google’s crown jewels, with an enormous share of the ad-supported streaming video market. Netflix, for comparison, had $20.1 billion in revenue in fiscal 2019, almost entirely from subscriptions.
Alphabet also broke out revenue from its Google Cloud unit for the first time, revealing that the division generated $8.9 billion in revenue last year.
Overall, Alphabet hit $161.8 billion in revenue in fiscal 2019, including $46.1 billion in Q4.