It’s the season of downbeat superlatives for internet companies, as advertisers rein in spending. The latest: YouTube said its ad revenue dropped 2% to $7.07 billion in the third quarter, the first time that metric has dropped year over year since parent-company Alphabet began reporting it in 2019. Snap last week reported its weakest quarterly revenue growth since it went public in 2017. Meta Platforms is likely to continue the parade of gloom, reporting a drop in quarterly revenue on Wednesday.

On Alphabet’s earnings call on Tuesday, executives attributed the dip in YouTube ad revenue to a decline in user engagement in gaming from elevated levels during the pandemic and advertisers’ tight purse strings. 

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