Alphabet released its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings, with an unusual amount of detail disclosed about YouTube. In the past periods, YouTube details have been bundled in with Google results, but the tech giant’s leadership has opted to provide specifics about the video platform this time. “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.
YouTube generated fourth-quarter advertising revenue of $4.7 billion, contributing to its 2019 ad revenue total of $15.1 billion. Based on those figures, YouTube’s ad revenue has almost doubled in two years, leaping up from the $8.15 billion it logged in the 2017 fiscal year.
Alphabet’s entire operation amassed revenue of $46.1 billion in the fourth quarter and $161.8 billion over all of 2019.
During the conference call to discuss earnings, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai also shared a rare insight into the size of YouTube’s paying audience. The YouTube Premium and YouTube Music platforms have attracted 20 million subscribers at the close of 2019.
YouTube has made multiple efforts to introduce a subscription to its video offerings. YouTube Premium launched in May 2018. Since its arrival, the platform has added more and more programming features to compete with the offerings of longstanding on-demand services.