A new report shows that YouTube’s ad revenue climbed by 11 per cent year over year during the third quarter of 2018, and perhaps more promisingly, most of its advertisers have stuck with the platform.

The study, which was carried out by MediaRadar, found that YouTube enjoyed an ad renewal rate of 51 per cent. Three brands in particular made up a sizeable chunk of its ad revenue – 15.5 per cent – last year: Samsung, Disney and Geico. The latter was the biggest spender on YouTube, accounting for 6 per cent of its ad revenue after upping its spend on the platform by 40 per cent year over year. Meanwhile, Samsung, which was the top spender the year prior, made up 5.5 per cent of YouTube’s ad revenue, and Disney accounted for 4 per cent.

Entertainment and media companies like Twenty-First Century Fox and Hulu made up nearly a third of ad revenue on YouTube last year, while automotive advertisers like Ford and GM cut their spending on the platform. The automotive industry spent 60 per cent less overall last year than they did in 2017, falling from YouTube’s third biggest category of advertisers in 2017 to its eighth in 2018.

High retention rate a positive sign

The high retention rate noted by YouTube is a strong sign that the platform has addressed previous concerns about safety. New measures introduced last year seem to have satisfied any lingering doubts from the controversy that emerged when it was discovered that some ads were being showed alongside extremist videos, prompting 250 brands to boycott the platform. YouTube responded by carrying out audits, hiring moderators, boosting transparency, and enlisting the help of third-party measurement firms.

MediaRadar CEO Todd Krizelman said: “Despite brand safety challenges, YouTube bounced back and saw strong growth year-over-year. It [YouTube] has been transparent, mostly about its mistakes and has delivered remedies to buyers. Few advertisers have stopped buying on the platform and ad revenue is up.”

YouTube users spend more than one hour per day on average using the platform, and ad spending on videos is expected to climb from $91 billion in 2018 to as much as $103 billion by the year 2023.

Although the parent company of Google, Alphabet, does not report YouTube revenue separately, MediaRadar’s “YouTube Year in Review” report looked at data for ad revenue on the platform from January through November of 2017 and 2018.

Tobias Matthews

Tobias Matthews


Writer at Fourth Source.