The importance of YouTube to Google has been thrown into sharp relief after the tech giant published key metrics in its annual earnings report, confirming that the service pulled in $15bn in advertising revenue over 2019 and garnered 20 million paid subscribers.
These numbers equate to a 10% contribute a 10% share of total revenue, a sizeable 36.5% jump from the equivalent figure of $11.2bn generated in 2018.
Further progress was also made in convincing users to pay for favored access YouTube Premium and Music Premium generating a combined 20 million subscribers between them while the US-only YouTube TV clocked in with 2 million subscribers.
Elsewhere Google’s catch-all ‘other’ category, which includes the Pixel smartphone and Google Home speaker, generated $5.3bn of sales over the fourth quarter, as YouTube and Google Play helped mask a dip in hardware sales.
Over the piece, Google-parent Alphabet recorded revenues of $46bn over the fourth quarter, a rise of 17% year on year, although this still surprised on the downside of analyst expectations.
The financial success follows a series of public relations setbacks for the firm, culminating with a decision yesterday by YouTube to remove all political content which carries a ‘serious risk of egregious harm’ as it seeks to get a grip on the pernicious spread of fake news on its platform.