YouTube’s Q1 Ad Revenue Surged 50% to $6 Billion

The internet video giant continues to rake in cash for Google

YouTube’s ad sales hit $6 billion in Q1, representing a 50% year-over-year spike for the internet’s dominant video site, according to Alphabet’s first quarter financial report on Tuesday afternoon.

Overall, Alphabet — the parent company of Google and YouTube — reported $55.3 billion in Q1 revenue, up 34% year-over-year. Most of that — $47.8 billion — stemmed from Google’s ad business, as usual. Alphabet did not mention in its shareholder letter how much of its revenue was attributable to YouTube TV subscriptions, which cost $65 per month.

YouTube’s massive revenue jump comes as the site, like many streaming services over the last year, has benefited from pandemic restrictions. With live entertainment options essentially reduced to zero in many parts of the world, people have turned to streaming to pass the time — and YouTube’s ad business clearly benefited from it.

And as TheWrap reported earlier this month, YouTube enjoyed the most “significant growth” during the pandemic compared to other popular apps and sites, according to a survey from Pew Research Center. According to Pew’s survey results, 81% of Americans said they use YouTube on a regular basis, which was up from 73% in 2019, the last time Pew released similar findings. The only other tech platform with comparable growth was Reddit, whose usage grew from 11% of Americans to 18% between 2019 and 2021.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai didn’t single out YouTube’s performance in the company’s shareholder letter, only saying Google Search and “many online services” helped people “stay informed, connected and entertained.”

Other key takeaways from Alphabet’s Q1 report include Google Cloud’s revenue increasing 46% year-over-year to $4.05 billion, and its ad revenue from Search jumping 30% to $31.9 billion.


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