Ad revenues surge at Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft

Silicon Valley is reaping the benefits of a resurgent advertising market with revenues up across the board as brands clamor for a slice of the digital pie.

Alphabet, Apple and Microsoft have all posted record-breaking quarters, highlighting the gains made by a technology sector that has become the lifeblood of the economy during repeated lockdowns.

Leading the charge is Alphabet, buoyed by resurgent Google ad revenues smashing analyst expectations after increasing 69% from the same pandemic-depressed quarter last year to hit $50.44bn.

YouTube advertising alone brought in $7bn, well ahead of the $6.37bn penciled in by Wall Street, with connected TVs now the fastest-growing ‘surface’ in Google’s empire with 120 million viewers streaming directly from their telly.

Proving Google’s success to be no mere fluke, Microsoft also turned in strong fourth-quarter figures. Of particular interest to marketers is the tech giant’s More Personal Computing segment, which includes advertising revenue, that grew a healthy 9% to generate a return of $14.09bn – significantly to the right side of expectations set at $13.74bn.

Search advertising meanwhile grew by 53%, with its marketing solutions business growing an impressive 97% to contribute over $1bn in quarterly revenue.

Not to be outdone, Apple also joined the party, with chief executive Tim Cook boasting that his firm had set new records in advertising – although he did not break down the specific composition of its services arms.

Instead, Cook lauded a 36% year-on-year surge in revenue, which took it up to $81.41bn – smashing estimates that the iPhone maker would pull in a mere $73.3bn.

On the news media side, figures published by news publisher Reach yesterday showed its digital advertising business had grown 42.7%. The Guardian had similarly good news to share.