Google Parent Alphabet Reports Strong Results on Mobile Ads, YouTube, Other Bets

Google Parent Alphabet Reports Strong Results on Mobile Ads, YouTube, Other Bets

Google’s parent company Alphabet on Thursday reported profit in the recently-ended quarter leapt as money poured in from ads delivered to mobile devices and returns improved on “other bets.”

Alphabet profit was up 32.4 percent to $6.7 billion (roughly Rs. 43,555 crores) on in the quarter on revenue that increased 24 percent to $27.8 billion (roughly Rs. 1,80,724 crores), up 24 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Chief financial officer Ruth Porat credited “strength across Google and Other Bets.”

The earnings topped market expectations, and Alphabet shares jumped in after-market trade on the Nasdaq exchange before concerns about growing expenses apparently caused them to settle back a bit to be up nearly 3 percent to $1,021.

“It is what everybody looks at every time: what is going on with expenses?” independent analyst Rob Enderle told AFP.

“For the most part they seem to be well managed, but you watch to make sure they remember they still have limits even though they are printing money.”

While mobile ads were a main area of growth, they brought with them higher traffic acquisition costs, pushing up Google expenses in a trend seen as unavoidable.

Investing in cloud services and artificial intelligence also means spending more on data centers to provide the massive computing power involved.

“I’ve been really proud of the progress this quarter; launching popular new products and continuing to grow our business in new areas,” Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in an earnings call with analysts.

“It’s been particularly exciting to see our early bet on artificial intelligence pay off and go from a research project to something that can solve new problems for 1 billion people a day.”

YouTube continued to see “phenomenal growth” with more than 1.5 billion people spending an average of an hour a day watching videos there on mobile devices, and surging use on television screens in homes, according to Pichai.

He boasted of progress winning businesses over to Google services hosted in the internet cloud, where the company competes with Amazon and Microsoft in that market.

Pichai also said that opening day pre-orders for recently unveiled Pixel 2 smartphones were double that seen for the first-generation Pixel.

Google is “seriously committed to making hardware” as well as working with partners such as South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung which is a major producer of smartphones powered by Android software made available free by the US Internet company.

“The intersection of hardware and software is how you drive computing forward,” Pichai said.

“I think it’s important we thoughtfully put our opinion forward.”

Smartphones and other devices “made by Google” can showcase the potential of its Android and Chrome software, setting a bar for partners.

Moonshots
A corporate reorganisation started two years ago created Alphabet, which has holdings including cash-engine Google and ventures devoted to innovative “moonshots” such as Waymo self-driving car unit and a Loon project for delivering internet service from high-altitude balloons.

Subsidiaries other than Google were put into an “other bets” group which saw revenue in the quarter rise to $302 million (roughly Rs. 1,963 crores) from $197 million (roughly Rs. 1,280 crores) during the same three-month period last year.

Google ads accounted for the bulk of Alphabet revenue, contributing $27.47 billion (roughly Rs. 1,80,369 crores), according to the earnings release.

Alphabet earlier this year spun off a little-known unit working on geothermal power called Dandelion, which will begin offering residential energy services.

Dandelion chief executive Kathy Hannun said her team had been working for several years “to make it easier and more affordable to heat and cool homes with the clean, free, abundant, and renewable energy source right under our feet,” and that the efforts culminated in the creation of an independent company outside of Alphabet.

Meanwhile, Alphabet’s life sciences unit Verily announced a study to track people for years, right down to their genetics, in a quest for insights into staying healthy.

Alphabet also owns Nest, which recently expanded its line-up of smart home devices to include a security system.

Nest, Fiber, and Verily were said to be top performing other bets in the quarter.

Waymo on Thursday announced plans to begin testing self-driving cars in notoriously troublesome ice and snow conditions in the US state of Michigan this winter.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

YouTube Unveils VR180 Format, Reveals Mobile Users Spend an Hour a Day on Average

YouTube Unveils VR180 Format, Reveals Mobile Users Spend an Hour a Day on Average

HIGHLIGHTS

  • YouTube’s VR180 video format to be supported by new cameras
  • Google working with YI, Lenovo, and LG for new camera
  • 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at VidCon on Thursday announced an all-new video format VR180 that will make VR content creation slightly easier for creators. Google has also confirmed that the Daydream team is working with several manufacturers to build cameras from the ground up for VR180 video format.

The company says that the new VR180 video will ensure what’s in front of the user is high resolution, and “look great on desktop and on mobile.” YouTube’s main focus is to boost VR with the new video format as it can be seen on phones with regular 2D screens as well as VR headsets like Cardboard, Daydream, and other headsets which show images stereoscopically in 3D. The new video format will enable depth, where “near things look near, and far things appear far,” adds Wojcicki. Additionally, the VR180 format also supports live streaming videos.

Google has named some partners like YI, Lenovo, and LG who are working with the company to bring new cameras priced same as a regular point-and-shoot camera. Videos and live streams will be easy to upload to YouTube from these cameras. Google has revealed that the first cameras will hit shelves this winter. The new format is capable of delivering 3D video while capturing 180 degrees of vision.

Google has also opened a VR180 certification program for other manufacturers who want to join. Z Cam will be one of Google’s first partners under the program.

“We want to make VR more accessible and more affordable for viewers and creators. The reality is, filming 360-degree VR videos isn’t easy for most creators and some VR cameras are expensive. That’s why I’m thrilled that YouTube and Daydream have worked together on a new format, VR180, and new cameras, which make it easy and affordable for anyone to make VR videos,” said Wojcicki.

Wojcicki also revealed that now, 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month and on an average, viewers spent over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone. YouTube also announced an all-new change to YouTube app which will in the coming weeks “dynamically adapt” to whatever size users choose to watch it in. YouTube last month teased the new redesign interface which will come with a Dark theme as well.

The company will soon let user share a video with friends right from YouTube app and this will be available to users in Latin America and the US in couple of weeks.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Google’s cord cutter app YouTube TV reaches 2 million downloads

Approximately 2 million people have installed the YouTube TV app, Google’s live TV service aimed at a younger generation of cord cutters, as well as those who never signed up for traditional pay TV in the first place. That download figure comes from app store analytics firms Sensor Tower and App Annie, which both also noted that installs are evenly split between iOS and Android devices.

Of course, 2 million downloads doesn’t necessarily translate into subscribers — many users may have simply installed the app out of curiosity; others could be on free trials that never convert to paid subscriptions.

Still, it’s a number that should give YouTube TV competitors — in particular, telco rivals — pause. YouTube TV is the youngest arrival in the over-the-top live TV space, and it’s growing rapidly.

Sensor Tower said that YouTube TV added about 700,000 new installs of its app since its announcement last week that it was entering several new U.S. markets, tripling its footprint.

Yes, that’s right — YouTube TV has 2 million installs and isn’t even available across all of the U.S. at this point.

That’s a promising start for a newcomer in this race, even if many of those are still trial customers.

That’s not to say YouTube TV is without serious competition.

This April, YouTube TV entered a crowded market, where numerous services compete to deliver live TV to consumers over the internet. Before YouTube TV arrived, Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue and AT&T’s DirecTV Now were battling for cord cutters’ attention. Following the launch of YouTube TV, Hulu rolled out its own Live TV service. And this week, Comcast said its Xfinity Instant TV service could hit the U.S. before the end of the year.

The live TV rivals

Dish’s Sling TV live TV service has been around the longest, allowing it to move quickly into new areas — as it recently did with pay-per-view. Its service has more than 2 million subscribers, according to comScore’s latest report, released last month.

AT&T, meanwhile, can push DirecTV Now on its wireless customers by offering deals, and Sony can market Vue to its millions of PlayStation users. But Vue and DirecTV Now combined only have 1.1 million subscribers, says comScore. (Separately, AT&T announced this week DirecTV Now was nearing half a million subscribers.)

Then there’s Hulu, whose brand is well-known to consumers who think of it as a place to watch the broadcast and cable TV shows Netflix doesn’t offer. Hulu can upsell live TV to its existing customers. While the company doesn’t release subscriber figures, it said in May it had 47 million total unique viewers. (comScore didn’t release numbers for Hulu, YouTube TV or FuboTV.)

YouTube TV’s advantages

For the telcos, in particular, the streaming market is a tough business. As AT&T and Dish’s earnings have revealed, these newer internet TV services aren’t able to onboard customers fast enough to offset the losses from those dropping residential pay TV subscriptions.

For instance, AT&T in its most recent quarter lost a record number of traditional TV subscribers, and while DirecTV Now “helped” offset those losses, it couldn’t close the gap.

But for YouTube, there’s no legacy TV biz to shore up. It can move into the space freely, without worrying much about the slim margins of its low-cost $35 per month subscription offering. And its margins could be very slim, indeed. One analyst had estimated that $29 per month of affiliate fees would eat up the $35 subscription, before regional sports networks came in, adding $4 to $5 more.

Or, in other words, YouTube TV would be an ad-supported business.

Good thing for YouTube, then, that its user base grew up watching ads alongside their videos.

Though an optional YouTube Red subscription can remove those ads across regular YouTube, the mere existence of ads on YouTube TV — (and they’re everywhere — live, on-demand, DVR, etc.) — won’t necessarily be a deal breaker for the live TV service’s subscribers.

YouTube also has the benefit of selling TV to an existing and massive user base. The company announced in June it had grown to 1.5 billion logged-in monthly viewers. (YouTube doesn’t break out its U.S. monthly viewer numbers, but eMarketer says 185.9 million.)

Plus, YouTube TV has original content of its own, catering to its young viewers. Its 37 original programs, which are included with both YouTube TV and the ad-free paid subscription, YouTube Red, have now generated nearly 250 million views.

Also worth noting, YouTube itself appeals to the next generation of “TV” viewers — the kids who know their favorite YouTube stars better than they do Hollywood A-listers.

YouTube doesn’t have to convince these kids to cut the cord in favor of YouTube — they never planned to buy the cord in the first place.

Sensor Tower’s figures for YouTube TV — 2 million downloads, 50/50 split — were also confirmed by App Annie, which added that if time spent in the YouTube Kids app is any indication, then YouTube TV should do well among streaming apps for user engagement. YouTube TV may be in its infancy, but its download levels show significant traction, App Annie said.

YouTube Kids launched in 2015 and now ranks No. 7 by total time spent among Entertainment apps, as of June 2017 on Android phones in the U.S., behind giants like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.

Meanwhile, YouTube itself is No. 3 out of overall apps for time spent on Android phones in the U.S. — or nearly 17 times the average total time spent of the next three highest ranking video streaming apps, said App Annie.

Reached for comment, YouTube declined to confirm the new download numbers.

[“Source-techcrunch”]

YouTube Unveils VR180 Format, Reveals Mobile Users Spend an Hour a Day on Average

YouTube Unveils VR180 Format, Reveals Mobile Users Spend an Hour a Day on Average

HIGHLIGHTS
YouTube’s VR180 video format to be supported by new cameras
Google working with YI, Lenovo, and LG for new camera
1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki at VidCon on Thursday announced an all-new video format VR180 that will make VR content creation slightly easier for creators. Google has also confirmed that the Daydream team is working with several manufacturers to build cameras from the ground up for VR180 video format.

The company says that the new VR180 video will ensure what’s in front of the user is high resolution, and “look great on desktop and on mobile.” YouTube’s main focus is to boost VR with the new video format as it can be seen on phones with regular 2D screens as well as VR headsets like Cardboard, Daydream, and other headsets which show images stereoscopically in 3D. The new video format will enable depth, where “near things look near, and far things appear far,” adds Wojcicki. Additionally, the VR180 format also supports live streaming videos.

Google has named some partners like YI, Lenovo, and LG who are working with the company to bring new cameras priced same as a regular point-and-shoot camera. Videos and live streams will be easy to upload to YouTube from these cameras. Google has revealed that the first cameras will hit shelves this winter. The new format is capable of delivering 3D video while capturing 180 degrees of vision.

Google has also opened a VR180 certification program for other manufacturers who want to join. Z Cam will be one of Google’s first partners under the program.
“We want to make VR more accessible and more affordable for viewers and creators. The reality is, filming 360-degree VR videos isn’t easy for most creators and some VR cameras are expensive. That’s why I’m thrilled that YouTube and Daydream have worked together on a new format, VR180, and new cameras, which make it easy and affordable for anyone to make VR videos,” said Wojcicki.

Wojcicki also revealed that now, 1.5 billion logged in viewers visit YouTube every single month and on an average, viewers spent over an hour a day watching YouTube on mobile devices alone. YouTube also announced an all-new change to YouTube app which will in the coming weeks “dynamically adapt” to whatever size users choose to watch it in. YouTube last month teased the new redesign interface which will come with a Dark theme as well.

The company will soon let user share a video with friends right from YouTube app and this will be available to users in Latin America and the US in couple of weeks.

[“Source-gadgets”]