Report: YouTube ad revenue jumped 11% in 2018 thanks to repeat advertisers

YouTube ad revenues increased 11 percent year-over-year in 2018, according to MediaRadar.

YouTube saw a 51 percent ad renewal rate among brands in 2018, with an 11 percent increase in revenue year over year, an study by MediaRadar found. Three brands — Geico, Samsung and Disney — accounted for 15.5 percent of YouTube’s ad revenue in 2018.

Why you should care

YouTube’s relatively high retention rate indicates the company has adequately satisfied brands’ concerns about platform safety with measures it’s taken since 2017.

“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,” said MediaRadar CEO and co-founder Todd Krizelman, “Few advertisers have stopped buying on the platform and ad revenue is up.”

Media and entertainment companies represented more than 30 percent of YouTube’s ad revenue in 2018, according to the report.

Geico was the top-spending brand, making up six percent of YouTube ad revenue in 2018. The insurance company increased YouTube spending by 40 percent year-over-year last year, MediaRadar found. Samsung accounted for 5.5 percent of YouTube ad revenue, and Disney four percent.

More on the news

  • Automotive advertisers — including GM and Ford — slashed spending on YouTube last year, with the industry as a whole spending 60 percent less in 2018 compared to 2017.
  • The automotive sector dropped from the third largest category of YouTube advertisers in 2017 to eighth in 2018.
  • MediaRadar’s “YouTube Year in Review” compared ad revenue data from January through November, 2017 to the same time period in 2018.
  • Google parent company Alphabet does not report on YouTube revenues separately.

About The Author

Amy Gesenhues is Third Door Media’s General Assignment Reporter, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

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