Google's earnings call Thursday lacked information directly related to the music industry but had a handful of important takeaways. There were no hints of an upcoming Google Music service and no references to the recent House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet during which the company's general counsel was beaten up by lawmakers. Instead, the talk was about search, Android, Chrome and billions in profit.
The company reported revenues of $8.58 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, an increase of 27% compared to the first quarter of 2010. Revenue was split $5.88 billion from Google sites and $2.43 billion generated from partners through AdSense programs. Net income rose 17.3% to $2.3 billion. Net cash provided by operating activities was $3.17 billion.
Three stats you should know came out of the earnings call:
-- Google is activating over 350,000 Android devices every day
-- Over 3 billion apps have been installed, up 50% in the last quarter
-- The Chrome browser has over 120 million daily users
Finally, just a bit of time was given to YouTube during the Q&A with analysts. When asked about monetizing video inventory (mostly user-generated content) at YouTube, Nikesh Arora explained that advertising agencies and advertisers need to do a better job creating ads for online video. "The creative industry needs to get involved a little bit more in trying to find creative ways, no pun intended, to be able to target all the users that the advertisers would like to target," Arora said. "But having said that, it is a process of selling. We have the sales teams in force. We have the technology in place. We have it integrated across the technology chain in terms of through our exchanges, through our ad serving platforms, et cetera."
For more on how YouTube is monetizing user-generated content, read Thursday's Billboard.biz story by Antony Bruno in which he interviews Glen Brown, head of music partnerships at YouTube.
Brown says user-generated content now contributes three times as much to YouTube's monthly licensing fees as it did in 2009. Additionally, he says growth rate of user-generated content is outpacing that of official music videos in terms of both revenues earned and streaming traffic (although he did not specify about the relative size of revenue and traffic of official videos and user-generated content). "So far the conversation is about official music videos, and we're seeing that user videos are becoming just as interesting in terms of both views and financials," says Brown