Google reports YouTube made an eye-popping $15 billion in 2019 - Dexerto
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Google reports YouTube made an eye-popping $15 billion in 2019

Published: 4/Feb/2020 1:27

by Isaac McIntyre

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For the first time since acquiring the video-sharing platform, Google has lifted the lid on YouTube’s advertising revenue, and it turns out it’s a lot – according to reports, the site made a whopping $15.5 billion across all of 2019.

It’s been 14 years since Google, now Alphabet Inc., first scooped up the video-sharing website in a huge $1.65 billion acquisition, bringing YouTube under its umbrella and changing the face of online entertainment forever.

Now, nearly a decade and a half later, YouTube continues to change and adapt to the times, most recently moving into streaming in a major way to rival other platforms like current field frontrunner Twitch, and Microsoft’s Mixer.

Alphabet
Google finally revealed YouTube’s revenue reports after 14 years of silence.

According to the newly released figures, it looks like the video platform is still very much on the rise, with US$15.5 billion revenue from last year accounting for nearly 10% of Google’s parent company’s overall US$162 billion income.

In the earnings report, Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat revealed the company had finally decided to lift the lid on YouTube, Google Cloud, and Google Search’s revenue numbers “to provide further insight and the opportunities ahead.”

Much of this revenue has come from ads, which have begun appearing in sets of two or three across trending videos. In 2019, the report details, the site’s ad revenue increased by more than 35%, compared to Google’s 16% rise.

Alphabet
Alphabet’s chief financial officer Ruth Porat revealed YouTube’s revenue in a conference call this week.

YouTube taking the gaming world by storm

It’s been no secret YouTube has been muscling into gaming and streaming territories over the past year, and their success in that department against other contenders is already being reflected with their huge revenue shares.

To compare, YouTube’s reported $15 billion revenue overshadows Twitch’s earnings, initially projected to land around $500 million but eventually landing closer to $300m, by as much as 5000%, and that’s just a single year.

It’s also been a bumper year for YouTube in the ongoing streaming wars too, with Google’s platform luring former Twitch-based 100 Thieves duo Jack ‘CouRage’ Dunlop and Rachell ‘Valkyrae’ Hofstetter, and Australian stars Elliot ‘Muselk’ Watkins and Lannon ‘Lazarbeam’ Eacott into exclusive deals.

The platform also recently clinched key signatures in esports too, with Activision Blizzard and Google teaming up in a multi-year partnership to see the Call of Duty League and Overwatch League stream exclusively on YouTube Gaming.

Instagram: Valkyrae
100 Thieves’ Valkyrae was one of YouTube’s streaming stars who converted from Twitch.

Onwards and upwards for YouTube Gaming

While YouTube Gaming seems to have exploded financially, and has helped YouTube on its way to a huge year of revenue, many have complained that the experience while watching streamers has been less than stellar.

All that seems to be on YouTube’s radar too, with platform-convert Valkyrae confirming she had been regularly meeting with the streaming team to “address issues” and make sure everything was running better into the future.

“I have a meeting with YouTube Streaming… things that can be better, things that should be added, I already have a solid list,” Valkyrae said on February 1, then revealed after her meeting that she had “told them everything.”

“Many things take time,” she added. “Many things they already know about, but I’m so happy with how the meeting went. Thank you all for your feedback!”

Can YouTube retain its place at the top?

The question now is: can YouTube hold onto its spot as the top dog in video sharing, and online content creation? 

Short-video platform Vine appeared as a challenger for a time, but eventually disappeared. Now TikTok, Byte, and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have all emerged with more staying power to potentially rival the king.

But, at the end of the day, YouTube’s figures land it at around 20% of all of the United State’s television ad spending for 2019 — it’s pretty clear the website isn’t going anywhere, and with the moves it’s making, it can only get bigger.

Call of Duty

Warzone boosts Activision microtransactions to over $1 billion in 3 months

Published: 30/Oct/2020 0:54

by Isaac McIntyre

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Activision Blizzard has confirmed Warzone is indeed the mammoth money-maker everyone was always expecting it to be; the ever-growing Modern Warfare battle royale boosted the Call of Duty publisher’s total Q3 2020 earnings to $1.77 billion, including $1.2 billion in microtransactions.

Activision Blizzard, the overseers in charge of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch, shattered expectations when they unveiled their Q3 2020 earnings on Oct. 29. The publisher made $1.77 billion over the past three months.

Much of that, Dexerto can confirm the publishers revealed in an investors call on Thursday, was due to the popularity of Warzone. The new Modern Warfare battle royale has gone from strength to strength since its mega-sized release on March 10 earlier this year.

According to Activision in the call, Warzone alone was responsible for bringing in a $773m slice of the total $1.7b sum. Modern Warfare sales also added to the haul.

Activision’s Blizzard arm also raked in a hefty chunk of the Q3 profits. Hearthstone and World of Warcraft ⁠— which is just four weeks from its next expansion ⁠— made $411m. Finally, King’s mobile juggernaut ‘Candy Crush’ dominated with $536m.

Warzone’s dominance in the past eight months comes as no surprise. Recently, the Call of Duty battle royale overtook genre leader Fortnite as the most popular free-to-play title on the market for teen gamers, according to Yahoo Finance.

This has translated directly into Activision’s financial success. 

The publishers reported close to two-thirds of Warzone players either owned the full Modern Warfare title, or purchased the 2019 game’s multiplayer and campaign after playing.

“What we’ve seen with Call of Duty is an amazing transformation,” Bobby Kotick, chief executive officer of Activision Blizzard, said. “The phenomenon we had with Warzone is so many people are buying the premium Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.”

Call of Duty microtransactions were also four times higher thanks to Warzone.

Warzone fired Activision's Q3 2020 earnings to nearly $2 billion.
Infinity Ward
Warzone fired Activision’s huge Q3 2020 earnings to nearly $2 billion.

In raw numbers, this has led to a huge 38% increase in revenue year on year, or a $490 million spike between Q3 2019 and the new Q3 2020 earnings.

“Warzone has really become an incredible addition to the franchise. It’s a central place where we can connect the entire Call of Duty community,” Kotick continued.

“I think maintaining that tight connection to the game is really important, especially for players who want to check out everything Call of Duty has to offer. You saw that with Modern Warfare. We plan to continue that into the future.”

Activision is banking on Warzone's momentum continuing into Black Ops Cold War.
Treyarch
Activision is banking on Warzone’s momentum continuing into Black Ops Cold War.

Call of Duty has always been a juggernaut seller in the gaming community. It is now expected to continue its momentum into Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War early next month.

Black Ops Cold War will launch on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on Nov. 13 with all three connected via crossplay. World of Warcraft’s next expansion, Shadowlands, is also finally set to drop soon after, on Monday, Nov. 23.