YouTube Revenue Statistics of 2021: Play Video!

YouTube Premium?

No, thanks.

If none of us are willing to try out YouTube Premium, then is YouTube even making any money?

Yes, it is!

And the latest YouTube revenue statistics are here to prove it.

What started out as a simple platform where users can upload and watch videos, turned into one of the most important sites on the Internet.

Let’s kick it off with some important numbers:

YouTube Statistics and Facts (Editor’s pick)

  • YouTube made $19.77 billion in ad revenue in 2020.
  • YouTube’s advertising revenue in 2019 was $15.14 billion.
  • YouTube US ad revenue is projected to reach $5.56 billion in 2021.
  • On average, YouTube pays $18 per 1,000 ad views.
  • Ryan Kaji is the highest-paid YouTuber — he made $29.5 million in 2020.
  • Users are watching one billion hours of YouTube videos daily.
  • YouTube is the second most visited site in the world.
  • 54% of YouTube users visit the site daily.

If that was enough numbers and data for you, then you can go back to watching your favorite videos.

But if you are interested in more, check out those:

YouTube Ad Revenue

We will start off with the billions:

1. YouTube made $19.77 billion in ad revenue in 2020.

(Source: Alphabet)

According to the 2020 fiscal year report by Alphabet (the parent company of Google), YouTube ads generated $19.77 billion in revenue!  YouTube’s non-advertising revenue is not included in this amount, but it is estimated to have brought in over $3 billion.

According to Google, YouTube’s ad revenue increased by 30%, year over year.

2. YouTube’s advertising revenue in 2019 was $15.14 billion.

(Source: Alphabet)

The 2019 fiscal year report indicates that YouTube ad revenue has been steadily climbing, usually to the tune of over 30%, year over year.

3. YouTube generated $11.15 billion in ad revenue in 2018.

(Source: Alphabet)

The steady growth of YouTube’s ad revenue was evident back in 2018. It grew by 22.18% from 2017. Alphabet made $136.8 billion in revenue in 2018, and $11.15 billion — over 8% — came from ads on YouTube.

4. In 2020, YouTube generated $4.04 billion in ad revenue in the USA alone.

(Source: Statista)

It was estimated that in the US market alone, YouTube ad revenue in 2020 amounted to $4.04 billion. That’s almost one-fifth of the total ad revenue.

As up until recently, Google hadn’t released official numbers, most of the amounts are estimates.

5. YouTube generated $3.43 billion ad revenue in 2019 in the United States.

(Source: Statista)

The majority of YouTube users are located in the US. And so, unsurprisingly, a large amount of the revenue is estimated to come from ads in the US.

6. In 2018, YouTube generated $2.52 billion in ad revenue in the USA.

(Source: Statista)

According to estimated YouTube revenue statistics, the US market helped YouTube generate 22.6% of its total ad revenue.

YouTube Revenue 2021

The numbers are getting bigger by the year. It is no surprise that:

7. YouTube generated over $6 billion in ad revenue in the first quarter of 2021 alone.

(Source: Alphabet)

If the trend continues, 2021 will be YouTube’s most profitable year yet. While it’s still too early to tell, it’s quite likely that Alphabet will earn well over $20 billion just from YouTube advertising.

8. YouTube US ad revenue is projected to reach $5.56 billion in 2021.

(Source: Statista)

From 2018 to 2020, YouTube generated more than $46 billion in ad revenue alone.

It is estimated that YouTube will generate more than $5.5 billion in ad revenue just in the US.

So, let’s sum up the previous year’s estimates for ad revenue in the US:

  • US YouTube revenue 2020 — $4.04 billion
  • US YouTube revenue 2019 — $3.43 billion

According to these estimates, YouTube’s US ad revenue is larger than YouTube’s global non-advertising revenue. The latter is estimated to have been $3 billion in 2019.

YouTube Financials

Besides how much money YouTube is banking, here are other dollar amounts that may interest you:

9. YouTube was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion.

(Source: TechCrunch)

YouTube was founded in 2005 by PayPal employees, and it quickly grew.

By 2006, Google took an interest in this American video-sharing platform and acquired it for $1.65 billion.

What should we invent to get noticed by Google?

10.  Analysts estimate that YouTube is worth around $170 billion.

(Source: Venture Beat)

YouTube was bought for $1.65 billion in 2006.

Yet, considering YouTube’s growth, the important question now is:

How much is YouTube worth in 2020?

Considering billions it earns in ad revenue and massive year-over-year growth, it is estimated that YouTube is worth around $170 billion as a separate company.

11. YouTube spent $8.5 billion on content acquisition in 2019.

(Source: The Verge)

Once word got out how much YouTube is banking in revenue, Alphabet’s CFO, Ruth Porat, clarified that much of that money goes towards payments for YouTube content creators.

It wasn’t specified how much exactly goes to them. However, $8.5 billion were paid out for content acquisition costs.

12. On average, YouTube pays $18 per 1,000 ad views.

(Source: Influencer Marketing Hub)

What every aspiring YouTube star wants to know is:

How much does YouTube pay?

While some YouTubers have managed to make millions, the truth is that the average YouTuber doesn’t make much.

There are two types of payment models:

  • Cost per view (CPV)
  • Cost per click (CPC)

Most advertisers are paying per click, and then there are some that pay per view.

So, how to get ad revenue on YouTube?

Well, the first step is to enable YouTube monetization on your channel.

Of course, it is not as simple as that. Google’s support page lists other requirements, such as being at least 18 and meeting the minimum number of subscribers required.

If you do meet these requirements, then the next question is:

How much can I make with YouTube?

The important thing to remember is that successful YouTubers don’t make their money solely from ads. They are also selling merchandise.

Another way they are earning is when a fan pays to have their message highlighted in chat streams.

So, the most successful YouTubers are using their popularity to make money in other ways.

You can try using an online calculator to get an estimate of how much you may earn.

Click below:

YouTube Money Calculator

13. Ryan Kaji is the highest-paid YouTuber — the kid made $29.5 million in 2020.

(Source: Forbes)

In 2018, Ryan made Forbes’s list of highest-paid YouTube stars with $22 million.

Two years later, he is still at the top of the list — this time, at the age of nine, having made $29.5 million!

Ryan started off by using the video-sharing platform to upload videos of him reviewing toys.

Now, he has his own line of toys at Walmart.

So there’s a kid out there, making our childhood dreams come true — getting paid for playing with toys. And since his YouTube video statistics are off the charts, he’s getting paid a lot!

The funny thing is, he isn’t even the youngest YouTube star on Forbes’ top 10 list. That title goes to seven-year-old Anastasia Radzinskaya, who made $18.5 million in 2020.

14. Famous YouTuber Jeffree Star made $15 million in 2020.

(Source: Forbes)

Jeffree Star is well known for his makeup tutorials. His YouTube channel has almost 17 million subscribers.

He has also made $15 million in 2020, however not all of it is from YouTube ads. Jeffree also has a successful makeup line.

YouTube Usage Statistics

And where would YouTube be without us? Let’s see:

15. Users are watching 1 billion hours of YouTube videos daily.

(Source: Google Blog)

According to official data from Google, users are watching 1 billion hours of YouTube content per day!

Just to compare, Netflix users watch 165 million hours per day. YouTube users spend more time on YouTube than Netflix and Facebook users combined.

Here’s another fun fact, thanks to Google:

It would take one user 100,000 years to watch 1 billion hours of YouTube videos.

16. YouTube has more than 2 billion monthly active users.

(Source: YouTube)

There are more than two billion YouTube monthly active users, which makes YouTube a social platform with the second-highest number of active users.

The first one is Facebook.

17. YouTube is the second most visited site in the world.

(Source: Alexa)

According to Alexa, Google is the top-visited site in the world.

The second one?

None other than YouTube.

Alexa, play Despacito!

18. Baby Shark Dance by Pinkfong is the most played YouTube video — with 8.3 billion views.

(Source: Digital Trends)

While Adele holds the record for the fastest video to reach one billion views, with her song “Hello,” the most viewed video on YouTube is “Baby Shark Dance” by Pinkfong, a Korean pop manufacturer.

“Hello” had a massive number of YouTube visitors per month and reached one billion views in 87 days, and “Despacito” hit the billion views mark in 96 days. Baby Shark Dance isn’t really in the running for this, as it was uploaded back in 2016 and had a slow but steady rise.

As of June 2021, Baby Shark Dance has 8.3 billion views on YouTube.

19. T-Series is the YouTube channel with the most subscribers.

(Source: Digital Trends)

T- Series is an Indian music company, popular for its Bollywood soundtracks. Their YouTube channel growth statistics are incredible. In just a year, their subscriber count increased by 47 million. As of June 2021, they have 179 million subscribers, making them one of the top YouTube channels.

20. PewDiePie is the fourth most subscribed YouTube channel.

(Source: Digital Trends)

For a long time, the channel of Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg had the most subscribers. As of June 2021, he has 109 million subscribers.

Felix started by making funny videos of him playing games and has steadily become famous with a large and loyal fanbase.

While he slipped from the Forbes’ list of top 10 highest-earning YouTubers, Felix’s subscriber count is still increasing. YouTube revenue statistics show that he made $13 million in 2019 just from YouTube, and it’s unlikely that this number decreased since.

The video game industry is proving to be quite lucrative! These video game industry revenue statistics prove it.

21. 100 billion hours of gaming were watched on YouTube in 2020.

(Source: YouTube)

2020 was a good year for gaming streamers. More than 800,000 reached the 100,000 subscribers milestone, and over 1,000 hit five million. 350 even broke the 10 million subscribers barrier.

That’s not surprising since YouTube users watched 100 billion hours of gaming content on 40 million active gaming channels.

22. YouTube is available in 80 different languages.

(Source: YouTube)

YouTube has launched a local version in more than 100 countries, and it can be used in 80 different languages.

It seems that most of the world’s population is covered!

23. More than 70% of YouTube’s site traffic comes from mobile devices.

(Source: YouTube)

According to YouTube’s official data, the majority of users are using their phones to watch their favorite videos.

So yeah, always keep mobile optimization in mind!

24. The number of channels earning six figures per year on YouTube grew by more than 40% year over year.

(Source: YouTube)

Now, let’s check out some YouTube earning statistics:

  • The number of channels earning more than six figures grew by more than 40% year over year.
  • There was a 50% year over year increase in the number of channels earning more than five figures.
  • The number of channels with more than 1 million subscribers grew by more than 65% year over year.

Not bad, huh?

25. 81% of US adults use YouTube.

(Source: Pew Research)

YouTube is one of the most used online platforms in the USA. And YouTube user statistics can back this up!

According to Pew Research Center, 81% of US adults use YouTube. Facebook is second, with 69% of US adults using it.

However, Facebook is still the leader of the tribe when it comes to overall usage.

No surprise there. Have you checked out the latest Facebook revenue statistics?

Anyway, let’s get back to the topic at hand. YouTube.

It is the only site that can compare to Facebook, with 78% of US men and 68% of US women using it.

26. 54% of YouTube users visit the site daily.

(Source: Pew Research)

According to a 2021 survey, more than half of YouTube users visit the site daily.

These are the stats:

  • 36% – several times a day
  • 18% – about once a day
  • 45% – less often

Facebook users seem more addicted, though. 71% of them state that they use the site daily.

27. More than 9,000 YouTube partners are using Content ID.

(Source: YouTube)

Content ID is a system that enables YouTube and its partners to track copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos.

YouTube partners can then decide whether to block or monetize the video.

YouTube Marketing Statistics

Viewers hate them, marketers love them! Let’s take a look at some ad-related stats.

28. 62.9% of businesses share video content on YouTube.

(Source: Buffer)

Facebook remains the most popular online platform on which businesses share video content.

Though YouTube is close, it seems that LinkedIn videos are getting shared the most.

And while we are at it, check out the latest LinkedIn revenue statistics. After all, it is one of the most important sites for business networking.

29. YouTube has been effective for influencer campaigns for 20.5% of businesses.

(Source: Buffer)

Instagram remains the most effective platform for influencer campaigns — with 70% of businesses supporting this.

Here are all of the numbers:

  • Instagram – 70%
  • Facebook – 35.1%
  • Twitter – 29.5%
  • YouTube – 20.5%
  • Snapchat – 3.4%
  • Twitch – 2.3%

30.  55% of marketers are investing in YouTube.

(Source: Social Media Examiner)

Marketers see the potential in YouTube advertisements.

While the majority of them are investing in Facebook (93%) and Instagram (78%), YouTube is the fourth most popular platform. LinkedIn takes third place with 61%.

31. YouTube is the most effective video marketing platform for 50% of marketers.

(Source: Social Media Examiner)

It seems that YouTube is more effective in video marketing than Facebook! Only 45% of marketers consider Facebook to be the most effective video marketing platform.

32. 71% of marketers intend to increase their YouTube marketing efforts in the near future.

(Source: Social Media Examiner)

YouTube and Instagram are the top platforms marketers are interested in. 71% want to increase their YouTube marketing budgets, 15% will keep them at the same level, and only 1% intends to decrease them. The remaining 12% have no interest in using YouTube for marketing.

33. The majority of viewers prefer TrueView ads to in-stream ads.

(Source: Think With Google)

First, we need to answer the following question:

What is a TrueView ad?

TrueView ads give marketers the option to advertise on YouTube but only pay when someone watches at least 30 seconds of the ad.

This means that the audience can skip the ad after watching five seconds, and marketers are only paying for ads that are viewed.

It is a win-win for both parties!

The majority of viewers, or eight out of 10, prefer these types of ads to standard in-stream ads.

Viewers can also opt out of the ads that don’t interest them or skip ads they have seen one too many times.

And speaking of interesting content:

YouTube TV

YouTube’s streaming service was launched by YouTube in February 2017. It’s available throughout the United States.

Users have the option to stream the following YouTube TV channels:

  • ABC
  • CBC
  • Fox
  • NBC
  • BBC
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • Disney
  • Discovery
  • E!
  • Adult Swim
  • NBA TV
  • National Geographic

And many more!

This streaming service is also supported on multiple devices, such as Android, Fire TV, and Xbox.

Now, what we want to know is:

How much is YouTube TV?

A monthly subscription costs $64.99 + tax.

Yet, even at that cost, it doesn’t seem to be profitable.

And unlike Netflix, you can’t choose from different packages. This makes it expensive for users who can choose a similar service for a fraction of the price.

Let’s see:

YouTube TV vs Netflix

The most basic monthly Netflix subscription costs $8.99. The Standard and the Premium cost a bit more, $13.99 and $17.99 respectively.

Depending on your subscription, you will be able to stream on one to four devices at the same time.

You can only use the YouTube TV app on two devices simultaneously.

One of the perks of YouTube’s TV streaming service is that users can record as many programs as they like. However, they still need an online connection to watch them.

As to which app is more popular?

YouTube’s TV streaming service has more than two million subscribers.

Netflix has more than 160 million subscribers worldwide and 60 million in the US alone.

While we are here, you may be interested in the latest Netflix revenue statistics, which show just how big Netflix is.

YouTube Live

Besides regular streaming, YouTube introduced a live streaming feature.

A Brief Timeline:

  • The feature was first announced in 2011.
  • In 2013, only verified users with 1,000 subscribers had the option to livestream.
  • The limit was removed in December 2013 and all verified users had the option to livestream.
  • In 2017, mobile app users were also able to stream.
  • The same year, Super Chat was introduced. This feature allows viewers to make a donation and thus have their comments highlighted.

One of the most important moments from the beginnings of live stream YouTube was Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space to earth. The stream was watched by millions of YouTube users.

With the launching of this feature, YouTube became a competitor to Twitch, which is probably the leading live streaming platform for gamers worldwide.

YouTube live gaming vs Twitch

The main reason why Twitch is better for streamers than YouTube is the fact that Twitch streamers are able to make more money.

Some of the ways they earn are through:

  • Subscriptions,
  • Sponsorships,
  • Advertising,
  • Donations,
  • Selling merchandise, etc.

YouTube gamers, on the other hand, mostly rely on ads and Super Chat. While YouTube doesn’t earn them a lot of money directly, it is a good promotional platform. Once they become YouTube famous, they can sell a lot of merchandise and come up with other sources of revenue.

The latest YouTube revenue statistics in terms of gaming back up the fact that Twitch streamers are making more from ad revenue.

YouTube’s gaming content brought in $1.46 billion, compared to Twitch’s $1.54 billion.

Now, let’s move on with another useful feature that YouTube has introduced.

If you are a content creator set on expanding your fanbase as well as the money you may earn from online platforms, then you may be interested in learning more about:

YouTube Community

Unfortunately, you need at least 1,000 subscribers to enable the Community tab.

However, it is a sure way to engage your subscribers beyond posting video content.

Content creators can use the community tab to post:

  • Text-based content,
  • GIFs,
  • Images,
  • Links,
  • Polls, etc.

The Community tab also allows YouTubers to post content exclusive to members. A channel member is someone who makes monthly payments to get access to some of the perks offered by the channel creator.

VIP fans only!

We must admit, there are a lot of ways for content creators to make it work if they have a good YouTube growth strategy!

But before any venture gets the chance to grow, it needs to be founded first (obviously).

So, let’s talk about YouTube’s humble beginnings and owners.

Who Owns YouTube?

YouTube was founded by the former PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim in 2005.

The YouTube founders net worth supposedly exceeds millions — money they earned after selling YouTube for $1.65 billion to Google.

And ever since 2006, YouTube has been part of the G Club!

Key Takeaways

By now, you are aware that YouTube is a billion-dollar worth video sharing platform.

It was sold for more than a billion, it generates billions in revenue, and it will be worth billions if Google ever decides to sell it!

While creators sharing content on the platform are far from being billionaires, a select few of them have joined the millionaire club.

This can largely be attributed to the fact YouTube is one of the most widely used online platforms among US adults, as well as worldwide.

We hope that these YouTube revenue statistics have inspired you to create and share content.

Don’t forget to like and subscribe!

ABOUT AUTHOR

After I got my degree in translation and interpreting, I started working in a typical office. To get away from my nine-to-five job, I ventured into freelance writing. One thing led to another, and I ended up creating content for SpendMeNot. I have been involved with this site ever since its launch — first as a writer and now as a content strategist. When not busy with publication planning, I like blogging. I just hate writing bios so that’s all from me, folks.

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