Massive drop in Adsense revenue due to Covid-19 pandemic

Since as early as February 2020, publishers have been seeing a gradual drop in Adsense revenue, both in websites as well as YouTube channels. Then in March as the pandemic spreads worldwide, massive drops in revenue can be seen.

There are more people staying indoors due to lockdown and quarantine across the world. These people are spending most of their time online in channels especially YouTube and Facebook.

Unfortunately, even with the increased in viewers, there is a sharp decline of advertisers as many companies are going out of business. And CPC (cost per click) of each advertisement has also declined.

If you do not believe me, all you have to do is to check out your favourite popular YouTube channels. Some of these channels are set for maximum advertisements, ie the videos are more than 10 minutes long and usually can have a few advertisements in between. Now….it is not surprising to be able to watch many videos peacefully without ad interruption.

It is good for viewers but bad news for publishers/ YouTubers. This is further coupled with the recent announcement by Amazon that they would be cutting commissions for their affiliate program.

What does this means? Should we give up?

Please understand that this situation would NOT be permanent. The economy would be recovering within 1 to 1.5 years.

If you have been in the online scene long enough, fluctuations are common depending on the time of the year. It would be something that would not take you by surprise since due to the low entry barrier, overnight you would have many competitors and copycats fighting for the same pie.

But during this period, it is difficult to be able to recover regardless of what you do. There is nothing much anyone could do except to wait it out. Your situation would be better than those who are having brick and mortar business as many businesses have already filed for bankruptcy due to unable to manage their business expenses. Whereas for online business, generally the startup cost is low ….the only thing is that it takes up a lot of your time if you are managing the business on your own.

Time….which you would have more in your hands now that worldwide there is imposed travel restriction, quarantine and lockdown. Improve your existing skills…for example find ways to improve your video/audio quality or write more evergreen posts/ videos so that you can schedule them.

I like the persistent attitude by some online publishers/bloggers/YouTuber. For example, you can expect the revenue for foodie blogs (where they introduce popular places to eat) would be adversely impacted as no one is going out anymore. Instead of giving up, I have seen these publishers branch out to making videos on how to make those delicious dishes at home, complete with step-by-step of clear instructions and excellent angle, audio and video quality. Yes, revenue from advertising would still drop but they would be able to gain a new and larger segment of readers and subscribers who are home bound and mostly have started cooking at home.

Therefore, please do not give up. I know it is clinche but the situation online is really way better than physical business ….some that are required by the law to cease operation (example business in tourist areas) and saw their income vanish overnight. But they still need to pay for bills and workers salaries. Contract and daily/hourly wage staff who find themselves losing jobs because their company could not longer afford to pay them.


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