YouTube Ad Sales Biz Decelerates Dramatically in Q1

(Image credit: Alphabet)

YouTube ad revenue grew by just 14% year over year in Q1 to $6.87 billion, a dramatic deceleration of growth considering the platform expanded its revenue by 49% during the same period of 2021. 

YouTube missed the consensus forecast of equity analysts by about $600 million in the first quarter.  

"The deceleration in the year-on-year growth rate primarily reflects lapping of the exceptional performance of direct response that we called out in the first quarter of 2021," said Ruth Porat, CEO of YouTube and Google parent Alphabet during Tuesday's first-quarter earnings call. 

YouTube ad revenue was also impacted by Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, with advertising slowing across Europe. 

More positively, Alphabet reported "substantial growth" for YouTube's subscription businesses, which include YouTube TV and YouTube Music, but it didn't offer numerical specifics. 

Meanwhile, citing Nielsen data, Alphabet noted that YouTube accounts for half of ad-supported viewing time in connected TV among viewers 18 and up. 

And YouTube Shorts, the platform focused on videos 60 seconds in length and, well, shorter is now up to 30 billion daily views, which is about five times as many as the same period a year ago when it launched. 

Alphabet reported total revenue of $68.01 billion, up 23% year over year. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!