In the fourth quarter of 2021, YouTube sold $8.6 billion in ads, about 25% above the $6.9 billion that it sold in the final quarter of 2020. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this brings YouTube’s 2021 ad revenue haul to $28.8 billion (not including revenues from its subscription services like YouTube Music).

In the same quarter, Spotify’s global Premium Subscribers grew to 180 million, up by 5% from the prior quarter (Q3 2021), and up by 16% year-on-year. The streaming service’s Monthly Active User tally of 406 million was also near the top end of its guidance range, with much of its growth coming from India, Latin America, and Indonesia.

Lastly, SiriusXM posted its Q4 financial report this week as well, revealing that it added around 1.2 million net new self-pay subscribers, taking its total to 32 million - a record for the company. Pandora, on the other hand, saw a decline in its listeners to 52.3 million, but a 30% increase in its advertising revenues to $1.54 billion.

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Compiled by Heidi Seo

Exploration Weekly - February 4, 2022

YouTube Made $8.6 Billion in Ad Revenue Last Quarter, Calls Future Commerce “A Whole Layer of Opportunity”

For last year’s fourth quarter, YouTube said it sold a massive $8.6 billion in ads – roughly 25% above the $6.9 billion that the company did in the final quarter of 2020. All told, revenues at parent company Alphabet were at $75.3 billion last quarter, up 32% year over year, which CFO Ruth Porat said “reflected broad-based strength in advertiser spend and strong consumer online activity, as well as substantial ongoing revenue growth from Google Cloud.” The Hollywood Reporter notes that last quarter’s tally brings YouTube’s 2021 ad revenue haul to $28.8 billion – a figure that does not include revenues from its subscription services like YouTube TV, YouTube Music, and YouTube Premium. In an earnings call, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai called YouTube’s still-in-the-works, on-platform commerce initiatives “a whole other layer of opportunity.”

Spotify Subscriptions Grew to 180M in 2021, Monthly Active Users Topped 406M

Spotify‘s global Premium Subscriber base grew to 180 million in Q4 2021 (ended December 31), according to the company’s new financial results published on February 2. That was up by 8 million subscribers (5%) on the 172 million that the company counted at the end of the prior quarter (Q3 2021), and up by 25 million (16%) year-on-year. The company’s total global Monthly Active Users, (MAUs), meanwhile, grew 18% year-on-year to 406 million in Q4 2021 and by 7% compared to the previous quarter (Q3) when the platform counted 381 million MAUs. The firm’s average monthly revenue per user (ARPU) landed at €4.40 (approx. $4.97) in Q4, up just 3% year-on-year (up 1% year-on-year at constant currency). Meanwhile, Spotify’s ad-supported revenue hit €394 million in Q4, reaching “a record 15%” of total revenues in the quarter. Spotify’s MAU tally of 406 million in Q4 2021 was near the top end of its guidance range. The company says that it saw double digit YoY MAU growth in all regions with particular strength in the ‘Rest of World’, which was led by strong results in India and Indonesia. The company says that Latin America also “outperformed expectations”.

SiriusXM Added 1.2 Million Subscribers in 2021 But Pandora Lost 6.6 Million Listeners

US satellite radio firm SiriusXM published its Q4 financials yesterday, revealing that its revenues for 2021 as a whole grew by 8% to $8.7 billion. Within this, SiriusXM added just under 1.2 million net new self-pay subscribers last year, taking its total to 32 million – a record for the company. It also had 6.8 million people in trial subscriptions at the end of the year. Pandora’s listener numbers are still declining: down from 58.9 million in 2020 to 52.3 million in 2021. Pandora added around 45,000 paying subscribers that year to take its subs total to 6.3 million, while its advertising revenues grew by 30% to $1.54 billion.

Hollywood Start-Up Plans to Track Unpaid Residuals, Royalties

Entertainment tech start-up WIO — co-founded by composer Shawn Pierce (The Bridge, Haven) and software engineer Adam Shafron — announced the launch of WIOpro, a service that aims to monitor airings of film and television titles in 55 countries. Offered on a web platform, WIOpro allows users to search for and add titles to a “portfolio” in order to track usage and generate airing and graphical analysis reports. The service is aimed at directors, writers, actors, composers, musicians, creatives’ representatives, auditors, unions, music publishers and performing rights groups. The software’s databases “encompass about 500,000 programs airing in 55 countries on over 45,000 networks,” Shafron says in a statement.

Saregama Trails Plans to Invest $100 Million in Its Music Business

Indian films and music company Saregama is planning a major investment in the latter part of its business. The Financial Express reported that the company has told analysts it is creating a fund of “up to Rs 750 crore” (that’s around $100 million) to invest in music. “The fund is only for the music business. This is not going to be used for our films or our Carvaan business,” said a spokesperson. Carvaan being Saregama’s line of hardware: music players with catalogs of tracks preloaded for offline listening. Saregama also said that it expects 25-30% growth for its music activities in the coming years: “a combination of both organic, new content purchases, and some inorganic purchases”.

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