YouTube is now the top-grossing iPhone app in the U.S. for the first time.
According to TechCrunch, the U.S. is the only country where YouTube’s iPhone app has ever hit the top spot. And while YouTube has come close to the number one spot over the years, it never reached higher than number three until now.
What’s the reason for the achievement? Its climb to number one can be attributed to the launch of YouTube Red in-app subscriptions back in 2015. Within a month of its arrival, the site’s iPhone app jumped to number six. At the time, it was estimated to be bringing in more than $100,000 per day — and maybe even as much as $300,000 per day.
Since Red’s launch, YouTube’s iOS revenue has grown as the feature has become more popular. In fact, most of the site’s revenue comes from YouTube Red subscriptions, as well as Super Chat purchases, which is YouTube’s virtual tipping mechanism.
Other factors in YouTube’s rise in revenue include an increase in cord-cutting, younger users getting their own phones, more affordable streaming plans (as well as plans that don’t charge for YouTube’s data), the rise of live streaming and other features such as messaging, Community, Reels and more.
According to Sensor Tower, gross user spending is currently more than $200 million worldwide on iOS since the launch of YouTube’s in-app monetization in 2015. Last month it grossed approximately $14 million, a 133 percent year-over-year increase from February 2017. And while this month isn’t over yet, YouTube’s worldwide iOS revenue is already up 150 percent year-over-year, to more than $12 million.
It’s also important to keep in mind that these revenue figures don’t even include other features, including YouTube Music or YouTube Gaming, which both also include in-app purchases, as well as Google Play. It also doesn’t include any of the revenue YouTube brings in from things like rentals, purchases and advertising.