Alphabet Execs Call YouTube Shorts a ‘Long-Term Bet for the Business’ |

Alphabet Execs Call YouTube Shorts a ‘Long-Term Bet for the Business’

At Alphabet (GOOGL)’s fourth-quarter earnings call at the beginning of 2024, the tech company’s leaders had much to say about YouTube. Yesterday (April 25), when reviewing the first three months of the year with investors, it was no different. Alphabet and Google (GOOGL) CEO Sundar Pichai said YouTube and Google Cloud combined are expected to pass $100 billion in revenue by the end of 2024. The company is also doubling down on its TikTok competitor, YouTube Shorts, especially in building out its monetization. Last week (April 17), YouTube expanded its advertising guide to include advice specifically for Shorts. The company also added advertising capabilities for Shorts on TV, a growing trend, according to YouTube CEO Neal Mohan, who discussed this in his annual letter. In general, YouTube beat Netflix (NFLX) as number one in TV streaming in 11 out of 12 months of 2023. YouTube also reports that Shorts receives around 70 billion views daily and has grown 50 percent in uploads year-over-year.  

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UBS analyst Stephen Ju asked if any structural reasons would prevent Shorts from monetizing well on horizontal screens versus vertical phone screens.

“I have a hard time seeing those, at the moment, over time,” Alphabet Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler responded. “Overall, Shorts is a long-term bet for the business. It has really helped us respond to both creator and viewer demand for short-form video.”

Pichai reiterated some of YouTube’s recent highlights, namely that YouTube music surpassed 100 million subscribers and that 8 million people now pay for YouTube TV. He also credited YouTube subscriptions with driving an 18 percent growth in Alphabet’s subscription platform and devices sector. YouTube ads drove around 10 percent of Alphabet’s total revenue in the first quarter of 2024, or $8 billion. This is comparable to the same quarter in 2023, when YouTube ad revenue was around $6.7 billion of Alphabet’s total revenue of $69.8 billion. 

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