Google Parent Alphabet Profit Surges on Mobile, Video Ads

Google Parent Alphabet Profit Surges on Mobile, Video Ads

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Alphabet’s net income climbed 27 percent to $5.06 billion
  • Google is competing with Facebook for dominance in mobile advertising
  • Advertising accounted for 89.1 percent of Google’s total revenue

Google parent Alphabet Inc bested analysts’ estimates for third-quarter profit and revenue on Thursday as the search company showed it has honed its core business for the mobile era and is closing in on the next wave of computing.

Propelled by strong advertising on mobile devices and video site YouTube, Alphabet’s net income climbed 27 percent to $5.06 billion (roughly Rs. 33,839 crores). Revenue jumped 20 percent to $22.45 billion (roughly Rs. 1,50,147 crores), marking the search giant’s seventh straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth.

(Also see: Google Pixel XL Review)

The company authorized a $7 billion repurchase of its Class C stock, pleasing investors who had been craving more after a $5 billion repurchase last year.

Google is competing fiercely with social network Facebook for dominance in the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai touted the company’s gains in the space, and was bullish about recent product launches such as the Google Assistant, the Google Home smart speaker and refinements to the enterprise cloud business.

The products are aimed at the rise of voice search, which many analysts believe will succeed keyboards and touch screens as a primary way users interact with devices.(Also see: Google Assistant Goes Head to Head With Apple’s Siri in Comparison Video)

“We feel well positioned as we transition to a new era of computing,” Pichai said in an conference call. “This new era is one in which people will experience computing more naturally and seamlessly in the context of their lives, powered by intelligent assistants and the cloud.”

Shares of Alphabet, the world’s No. 2 company by market value, were up 1.6 percent in after-hours trading.

The company posted third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $9.06, beating expectations of $8.63 a share on revenues of $22.05 billion, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.

Google has been dogged by concerns about how it would nudge its vast web advertising business towards mobile, but the company’s recent performance has reassured Wall Street that the transition is well underway, said analyst Colin Gillis of BGC Partners.

“It’s showing that even though they’ve hit lifetime highs, there’s still room to run,” he said.

Advertising revenue, the company’s lifeblood, rose 18.1 percent to $19.82 billion (roughly Rs. 1,32,543 crores) in the third quarter. Paid clicks, or ads for which advertisers pay only when users click on them, rose 33 percent, compared with a rise of 29 percent in the second quarter.

Cost-per-click, or the average amount advertisers pay Google, fell 11 percent in the latest period, but investors are willing to forgive the slump, for now, as it suggests strong mobile growth, said analyst Kerry Rice of Needham & Co.

YouTube continued to post robust gains, Pichai said. Over the past year, Google, Facebook and Twitter Inc have all doubled down on video, a format where advertisers are willing to pay a premium for a few seconds of users’ undivided attention.

Advertising accounted for 89.1 percent of Google’s total revenue in the quarter, and analysts are eager for the company to tap new sources of growth.

One of the leading contenders is Google’s cloud business, which drove a 38.8 percent rise in the company’s “other revenue.”

“As we head into 2017, I expect cloud to be one of our largest areas of investment,” Pichai said.

A relatively late entrant to the cloud business, Google is trying to steal market share from industry leaders Amazon.com and Microsoft. Amazon on Thursday reported a 55 percent revenue increase in its cloud business.

“I would hesitate to say they are competing head-to-head, but they are making up for lost ground,” Rice said.

Alphabet’s “Other Bets” unit generated revenue of $197 million, primarily from Nest, Google Fiber and Verily units, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said during the call.

(Also see: Google Fiber Halts Expansion Plans as Chief Steps Down)

Alphabet said this week it was pausing the rollout of Fiber, a high-speed internet service, in some US cities and that its leader, Craig Barratt, would leave.

Porat played down analysts’ concerns of instability at Other Bets, which has suffered a wave of executive departures, including Nest founder Tony Fadell, self-driving car technology chief Chris Urmson and, most recently, Barratt.

“As we reach for moonshots that will have a big impact in the longer term, it’s inevitable that there will be course corrections along the way, and that some efforts will be more successful than others,” Porat said.

Other Bets, which also includes research unit X, reported an operating loss of $865 million, down from a year-ago loss of $980 million. The narrowing loss suggests Porat is instilling the financial discipline investors have long hoped to see from the company, said Gillis.

“Everybody loves Ruth,” he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Google, Alphabet Inc, Alphabet Earnings, Cloud, Sundar Pichai, Internet, Android, Apps, Mobiles, PC, Laptops, Wearables
[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Why Facebook Suddenly Blacked Out All Ads in Thailand

Why Facebook Suddenly Blacked Out All Ads in Thailand

Facebook is taking a very unusual step for a company that makes it money off advertisements: It will stop showing ads on its network in the entire country of Thailand in a gesture of respect for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The social network announced the decision on its blog for advertisers, saying that it is removing ads in observance of a “cultural custom”:

“On October 13, we turned off all delivery of ads to the country of Thailand. Thailand is in a period of mourning due to the death of the King and removal of ads is a cultural custom. We don’t yet know the duration of the mourning period. We’ll keep you posted of any additional details as they become available.

“Note that ads will continue to deliver as normal in other countries, and that advertisers in Thailand can continue to run ads outside of Thailand.”

Why make such a drastic move to pay respects to this particular beloved world leader?

Facebook hasn’t said why outright, but Thailand is a significant market for the social network and is home to some of Facebook’s most engaged users. When the company first opened an office in Thailand last fall, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg noted that Thai users tend to post three times more often than the global average. At the time, an estimated 37 million people in Thailand were using Facebook – most on mobile.

Facebook ads are also particularly well-received in Thailand, according to a report from the Thai newspaper The Nation. (That paper has adopted a monochrome design to show its respect for the late king.)It’s not clear how much money Facebook is forgoing as a part of this decision; the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The ad research firm eMarketer estimated that Thai advertisers would spend $81.7 million (roughly Rs. 545 crores) on Facebook advertising by the end of 2016, making Facebook the largest ad platform in the country.

That suggests that Facebook could be letting go of $6.8 million per month, though that is a very rough estimate. It does not factor in how much Facebook could be making from ads bought by Thai companies and shown outside of the country.

As Facebook said, it’s not clear how long the moratorium on ads will last. The Washington Post’s Annie Gowen has reported that the mourning period for the late king will last a year.

The move is a first for Facebook, but not unprecedented in the ad space. Yahoo last year turned off ads for Singapore after the death of noted leader Lee Kuan Yew, CNN Money reported.

© 2016 The Washington Post

Tags: Facebook, Facebook Thailand, Facebook Advertisement, Social
[“Source-Gadgets”]

Google Parent Alphabet Profit Surges on Mobile, Video Ads

Google Parent Alphabet Profit Surges on Mobile, Video Ads

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Alphabet’s net income climbed 27 percent to $5.06 billion
  • Google is competing with Facebook for dominance in mobile advertising
  • Advertising accounted for 89.1 percent of Google’s total revenue

Google parent Alphabet Inc bested analysts’ estimates for third-quarter profit and revenue on Thursday as the search company showed it has honed its core business for the mobile era and is closing in on the next wave of computing.

Propelled by strong advertising on mobile devices and video site YouTube, Alphabet’s net income climbed 27 percent to $5.06 billion (roughly Rs. 33,839 crores). Revenue jumped 20 percent to $22.45 billion (roughly Rs. 1,50,147 crores), marking the search giant’s seventh straight quarter of double-digit revenue growth.

(Also see: Google Pixel XL Review)

The company authorized a $7 billion repurchase of its Class C stock, pleasing investors who had been craving more after a $5 billion repurchase last year.

Google is competing fiercely with social network Facebook for dominance in the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai touted the company’s gains in the space, and was bullish about recent product launches such as the Google Assistant, the Google Home smart speaker and refinements to the enterprise cloud business.

The products are aimed at the rise of voice search, which many analysts believe will succeed keyboards and touch screens as a primary way users interact with devices.(Also see: Google Assistant Goes Head to Head With Apple’s Siri in Comparison Video)

“We feel well positioned as we transition to a new era of computing,” Pichai said in an conference call. “This new era is one in which people will experience computing more naturally and seamlessly in the context of their lives, powered by intelligent assistants and the cloud.”

Shares of Alphabet, the world’s No. 2 company by market value, were up 1.6 percent in after-hours trading.

The company posted third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $9.06, beating expectations of $8.63 a share on revenues of $22.05 billion, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.

Google has been dogged by concerns about how it would nudge its vast web advertising business towards mobile, but the company’s recent performance has reassured Wall Street that the transition is well underway, said analyst Colin Gillis of BGC Partners.

“It’s showing that even though they’ve hit lifetime highs, there’s still room to run,” he said.

Advertising revenue, the company’s lifeblood, rose 18.1 percent to $19.82 billion (roughly Rs. 1,32,543 crores) in the third quarter. Paid clicks, or ads for which advertisers pay only when users click on them, rose 33 percent, compared with a rise of 29 percent in the second quarter.

Cost-per-click, or the average amount advertisers pay Google, fell 11 percent in the latest period, but investors are willing to forgive the slump, for now, as it suggests strong mobile growth, said analyst Kerry Rice of Needham & Co.

YouTube continued to post robust gains, Pichai said. Over the past year, Google, Facebook and Twitter Inc have all doubled down on video, a format where advertisers are willing to pay a premium for a few seconds of users’ undivided attention.

Advertising accounted for 89.1 percent of Google’s total revenue in the quarter, and analysts are eager for the company to tap new sources of growth.

One of the leading contenders is Google’s cloud business, which drove a 38.8 percent rise in the company’s “other revenue.”

“As we head into 2017, I expect cloud to be one of our largest areas of investment,” Pichai said.

A relatively late entrant to the cloud business, Google is trying to steal market share from industry leaders Amazon.com and Microsoft. Amazon on Thursday reported a 55 percent revenue increase in its cloud business.

“I would hesitate to say they are competing head-to-head, but they are making up for lost ground,” Rice said.

Alphabet’s “Other Bets” unit generated revenue of $197 million, primarily from Nest, Google Fiber and Verily units, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said during the call.

(Also see: Google Fiber Halts Expansion Plans as Chief Steps Down)

Alphabet said this week it was pausing the rollout of Fiber, a high-speed internet service, in some US cities and that its leader, Craig Barratt, would leave.

Porat played down analysts’ concerns of instability at Other Bets, which has suffered a wave of executive departures, including Nest founder Tony Fadell, self-driving car technology chief Chris Urmson and, most recently, Barratt.

“As we reach for moonshots that will have a big impact in the longer term, it’s inevitable that there will be course corrections along the way, and that some efforts will be more successful than others,” Porat said.

Other Bets, which also includes research unit X, reported an operating loss of $865 million, down from a year-ago loss of $980 million. The narrowing loss suggests Porat is instilling the financial discipline investors have long hoped to see from the company, said Gillis.

“Everybody loves Ruth,” he said.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Tags: Google, Alphabet Inc, Alphabet Earnings, Cloud, Sundar Pichai, Internet, Android, Apps, Mobiles, PC, Laptops, Wearables
[“Source-Gadgets”]

$50 Amazon Phone Makes It Easy to Go Mobile — But With Lots of Ads and Clutter

50 Dollar Amazon Blu Smartphone Makes It Easy to Go Mobile -- But With Lots of Ads and Clutter

The number one seller in the unlocked cell phones category on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is the $50 Blu R1 HD, which is sold out as of this posting.

This is an Amazon phone made by Blu, a US based company that offers the phone for $100, but with Amazon Prime you only pay half the price. For this subsidy, Amazon has tweaked the operating system to load the entire suite of Amazon apps. So if you don’t have a notification, you will see ads on your lock screen.

If you are a small business looking for a phone you can give to your entire staff, this may be an option. The ads don’t get in the way when the screen is active, because they only show up as notifications, just like any other message. As far as sending emails, texting and other communications, it has the necessary hardware to make it possible. This includes 3G/4G LTE bands to access the fastest networks and WiFi.

50 Dollar Amazon Blu Smartphone Specs

By now you are probably wondering, what can you possibly get for $50? The answer is enough to let you carry out many of the functions of premium phones, albeit at different levels.

  • Processor – 1.3 GHz quad-core MediaTek 6735 ARM Cortex processor,
  • Display – 5.0” HD 1280X720 with 294ppi,
  • Storage/Memory – 16GB with 2GB RAM and 8 with 1GB RAM, optional MicroSD with up to 64GB,
  • Camera – 8MP for the main camera and 5MP Front with LED Flash,
  • Battery – 2500 mAh,
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi, Hotspot, Micro USB v2.0 and
  • Unlocked for AT&T and T-Mobile with dual-SIM slots.

As far as the body and design, the device has a curved display with Gorilla Glass 3 and a metal trim.

In short, this $50 smartphone by all accounts it more than delivers when it comes to the communications functions. So the only question about whether this could make a good inexpensive business phone is whether you find Amazon apps and ads too distracting.

Image: Blu

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Spotify Free Users Complain of Malware-Infested Ads; Company Addresses Issue

Spotify Free Users Complain of Malware-Infested Ads; Company Addresses Issue

Some Spotify Free users were treated to malware-infested ads with their ad-supported music streaming service. Some users have reported on the company’s forum that random, malicious ads pop-up on the default browser while running Spotify’s freemium service.

The Next Web reports that while the original report was based on a Windows 10 machine, the malware also seems to pop up on other operating systems as well including Linux and macOS. Spotify has acknowledged the malvertising issue and told Engadget that the issue is an isolated on and has since “shut it down”.

(Also see: Spotify Debuts in Japan, Complete With Karaoke Lyrics)

“If you have Spotify Free open, it will launch – and keep on launching – the default Internet browser on the computer to different kinds of malware / virus sites,” wrote user Tonyonly on the company’scommunity page. “Some of them do not even require user action to be able to cause harm,” he added.

In a reply to the user’s complaint, Spotify said, “We’ve identified an issue where a small number of users were experiencing a problem with questionable website pop-ups in their default browsers as a result of an isolated issue with an ad on our Free tier. We have now identified the source of the problem and have shut it down. We will continue to monitor the situation. If you see this issue again, please let us know the exact date and time in this thread.”

In 2011, Spotify faced a similar issue where it displayed malicious ads to some users. The company rectified the problem and issued a public apology.

While Spotify confirms to have fixed the issue, users should still maintain caution and download ad-blockers if running Spotify Free, or shift to the company’s ad-free version instead.

Tags: Spotify, Music Streaming, Streaming, Malware, PC, Laptops, Virus
[“Source-Gadgets”]

New and Improved Instagram Allows Longer Videos, More Ads

instagram videos

Instagram recently announced that it will soon roll out video carousel ads. This will allow advertisers and business owners to share up to five separate videos with one single purchase. Instagram allows longer videos as each of the videos can be up to a minute long.

Instagram Video Carousel Ads

Carousel, when it was first announced early last year, offered business owners, marketers and advertisers a way to show multiple photos of their products on the same sponsored post. Now, on top of being able to add multiple videos to the same sponsored posts, users can upload videos that are a minute long.  Viewers are able to scroll through the videos by swiping a finger across the phone’s screen.

“Brands are excited about this because it gives marketers better creative flexibility,” James Quarles, global head of business and brand development at Instagram toldAdvertising Age. “The hardest thing to do is to capture people’s imaginations, and carousel can help advertisers better achieve that with five pieces of content. As we see people watch more video, we think this helps business bring messages to life more.”

Instagram also says that the time people spent watching video increased by more than 40 percent in the last six months. These are many videos considering Instagram has more than 400 million users.

Among the first users are Taco Bell, Airbnb and Macy’s. The ads are being sold on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis.

“For iOS, we’re also bringing back the ability to make videos out of multiple clips from your camera roll,” the company said in a post. To learn more about multi-clip video on iOS, check out the Instagram Help Center.

The ability to upload longer videos to Instagram gives marketers and advertisers alike the unique opportunity to be more creative in how they market themselves.

Image: Instagram

[“source-smallbiztrends”]