Leaked numbers show YouTube TV is the fastest-growing Google product as the company makes big bets in streaming

  • YouTube TV was the fastest-growing product over the past year, according to data viewed by Insider.
  • Google found that using TVs and tablets boosted YouTube TV watch time.
  • YouTube has been making bets such as partnering with the NFL to stream games.

YouTube’s big bet on NFL Sunday Ticket appears to be paying off, with YouTube TV becoming the fastest-growing Google product over the last year, according to internal growth metrics seen by Insider.

According to data from an internal Google system called Magic Eye, which tracks the growth of company products and how they compare to competitors, YouTube TV grew 48% between October 2022 and October 2023.

According to the data, the television streaming service also had the highest engagement and retention rate of any Google product. According to the report, 52% of YouTube TV users were frequent, while only 8% of YouTube TV accounts had lapsed.

YouTube TV, which provides a variety of linear and on-demand programming, debuted in 2017. In December, Google and the NFL announced a partnership to stream most Sunday Ticket games on YouTube. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google pays about $2 billion per year for the package, which is available as an add-on for YouTube TV subscribers.

YouTube, in general, remains a revenue rocket ship for Google. In the most recent quarter, the unit reported $7.95 billion in ad revenue, a 12.5% increase year on year. During Alphabet’s third-quarter earnings call, Ruth Porat, president and chief investment officer, cited YouTube TV’s subscriber growth as a bright spot.

Insider’s request for comment was not met with a response from a spokesperson.

TV and tablets are good for YouTube

According to internal Google data, television was the company’s fastest-growing form factor year over year. During its recent Brandcast event, the company made it clear that it was capitalizing on this, announcing a slew of new TV-focused offerings for advertisers, including 30-second unskippable ads when YouTube was watched on a TV.

According to a person familiar with the matter who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak freely, Google’s ad sellers have also been pushing advertisers to allocate more of their TV spending to YouTube. Insider is aware of their identity.

In another interesting tidbit, Google discovered tablets were effective at increasing YouTube watch time in a 2021 internal research study conducted by Google’s Magic Eye analysts.

“YouTube watch time increases substantially after tablet adoption, with YouTube watch time on form factors other than tablet decreasing only slightly,” according to a summary of the findings.

It’s unclear whether this report has had any direct impact on Google’s product decisions since, though an internal slide stated that the reports were intended to help Google leadership “understand the ecosystem better and understand product performance.”

Google announced last year that it was returning to the tablet market with the Pixel Tablet, reversing its previous statement that it would no longer compete with Apple’s iPad.

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