Alphabet’s Q3 Earnings Call took place last night and with it, they recapped their successes in cloud technology and what they provide to consumers, specifically with services handled by their core pillar, Google. The company’s CEO Sundar Pichai and CFO Ruth Porat took center stage on the remote meeting to remind everyone about the positive impact that Google has on society, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The earnings call was primarily investor-focused, but they did go over many details that directly affect end-users. For example, they discussed how their Duplex calling service and no contact safety information in Google Maps helps many decide where to visit and when in order to avoid unnecessary risk related to the virus. They discussed several improvements they recently made with Google Search, Shopping, News and more. On the hardware end, the new Pixel Phones and Chromecast with Google TV were mentioned, albeit briefly.
During the pandemic, Youtube saw a bunch of growth. Guided meditation videos went up 40% and DIY face mask videos were watched over a billion times. Youtube TV now has 3 million subscribers while Youtube Music Premium has 30 million – those are some impressive numbers, especially as many people are transitioning from Google Play Music, but it was not stated whether or not this included these new users.
Google believes its products are creating significant consumer benefits and says that they will continue to make their case. The company’s work is to continue building a search product that people love and value. They also spoke a lot about their cloud technology and partnerships with other businesses – helping with cancer research, the recent rebranding of Google Workspace for companies and more. In fact, Google Meet recently had 235 daily meeting participants and 7.5 billion daily video call minutes!
I think what’s exciting in this environment is there seems to be an acceleration in digital transformation that underscores the importance of the products and services we provide.Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat – Alphabet 2020 Q3 Earnings Call
Sundar says that Google will continue to invest in four key areas of focus for its products and services – building the most helpful products for everyone, creating the most trusted user experiences, executing at scale productively, securely and collaboratively while creating sustainable value with sustainable products that are financially viable. As lawmakers call for Google to be broken up over antitrust litigation and as Apple seeks to create their own search engine, Sundar had this to say:
We know our success in Search is not guaranteed. We are proud that people choose Google Search not because they have to, but because it’s helpful. We remain committed to investing in building the most helpful, most trusted search experience just as we have for the last 22 years.Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai – Alphabet 2020 Q3 Earnings Call
The Supreme Court hasn’t broken up a company since 1911 when they ordered John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil to split into 34 pieces. Within a hundred years, a lot of them were merged back down into just four key companies – Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP and Marathon Petroleum, though many others still exist.
Lately, Google’s marketing across their Made by Google, Nest, Assistant and Search products has been that they are creating a more ‘helpful’ product for their consumers. With such statistics being pointed out on their Earnings Call, there is zero doubt that Google has made a positive impact on our lives in significant ways, but what do you think? With all of these useful products and services becoming so ingrained in our culture, could you truly say that you could live without them? Maybe, but I believe we’re better off with them. I only hope that regulations continue to grow and maintain the competitive landscape in a way that benefits consumers like you and me.