BrandArena: WARC Media's Platform Insights: YouTube’s global advertising revenue is set to rise 4.0% in 2023 to reach $30.4bn

Thursday 25 May 2023

WARC Media's Platform Insights: YouTube’s global advertising revenue is set to rise 4.0% in 2023 to reach $30.4bn

Despite being severely impacted by the digital ad business decline, YouTube remains popular with consumers. It reaches half of the world's internet users (2.07 billion) and holds a commanding lead in the online video advertising business, according to the latest media platform insights report by WARC. 

With worldwide advertising expenditure expected to hit $30.4 billion, Alphabet's video platform is aggressively seeking methods to establish stronger connections with viewers, producers, and brands via multi-format video strategies.  

YouTube is prioritising Shorts and Connected TV engagement and is innovating with unskippable 30s ads and “pause experiences” on TV to help marketers engage audiences across screens and achieve both performance and brand-building goals.

WARC Media’s latest Platform Insights report provides an overview of the key datapoints that advertisers need to know about YouTube, spanning investment, consumption and performance insights.

Alex Brownsell, Head of Content, WARC Media, says: “It's been a tricky 12-month period for YouTube, which is increasingly battling on two fronts, against short-form video platforms like TikTok as well as long-form content streamers in the connected TV space. However, as trading conditions improve in digital advertising, YouTube can expect to see revenue growth improve.

“In this WARC Media’s Platform Insights report, we take a closer look at YouTube to provide marketers with evidence-based insights on the challenges and opportunities the platform offers at a time when ad formats and technologies are fast evolving and understanding audiences is becoming ever more important.”

The worldwide slowdown in digital ad investment has had an impact across the industry. However, YouTube has been hit harder than most. Q4 2022 ad revenue declined 8.8% year-on-year, as marketers shifted investment to retail media and search and it battled against TikTok, Instagram Reels and Apple’s ATT.

This year, YouTube’s ad revenue is set to rise 4.0% to a total of $30.4bn. This is more than double the rate of growth recorded in 2022, with ad revenues expected to recover in the second half of this year. 

As trading conditions become more favourable, WARC Media forecasts YouTube’s revenue growth to accelerate 10.3% in 2024, to reach $33.5bn by the end of the year.

Retail remains YouTube’s most important category for ad investment: retailers are expected to spend $4.1bn on YouTube ads this year, a 4.6% rise on 2022, according to WARC Media data.

Yet growth from other sectors has been harder to achieve. WARC Media data forecasts an increase this year in technology and electronics (+8.0%) and toiletries and cosmetics (+4.3%).

A WARC survey of marketers in Asia Pacific found that YouTube is the most popular platform for digital display. Nearly half (49%) of brands in the region run display ads on YouTube. However, it appears less appealing to APAC marketers (17%) from a shoppable advertising perspective.

YouTube advertisers can reach 2.07 billion, half of all internet users globally. More than one billion hours of video are watched every day on YouTube

YouTube is the world’s most popular online platform and more than one billion hours of video are watched every day on YouTube, per Alphabet data. Its adult advertising reach is estimated to be 2.07 billion, almost twice as much as TikTok and Instagram respectively, according to Kepios. 

As the platform looks to improve user engagement and make it more shoppable,YouTube Shorts (videos lasting 60 seconds or less) will provide more opportunities for marketers to reach new audiences. 

However, Shorts’ 50 billion daily viewer total is some way behind the 140 billion daily views achieved by Instagram Reels, while under 18s spend on average 60% longer on TikTok than with YouTube content.

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