Google Services (i.e. YouTube) Ups Q2 Revenue 63% to $57 Billion

Google reported second quarter (ended June 30) services revenue of $57 billion, an 63% increase from revenue of $35 billion in the previous-year period. Operating income skyrocketed 135% to $22.3 billion from $9.5 billion.

Google Services generates revenue primarily from advertising; sales of apps, in-app purchases, digital content products, and hardware; and fees received for subscription-based products such as YouTube Premium and online subscription-based YouTube TV — the No. 2 online TV platform behind Disney’s Hulu + Live TV.

Indeed, YouTube ad revenue alone topped $7 billion in the quarter.

Overall, Alphabet net income shot up 164% to $18.5 billion from $8.9 billion in the previous-year period. Revenue increased 62% to $61.9 billion from $38.2 billion last year.

“In Q2, there was a rising tide of online activity in many parts of the world, and we’re proud that our services helped so many consumers and businesses,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and corporate parent Alphabet, said in a statement.

Google to End ‘Play Movies & TV’ App Access on Myriad Devices

Google is planning to discontinue access to its “Google Play Movies & TV” app on Roku streaming devices and smart TVs, including connected Samsung, LG and Vizio models beginning June 15.

The pending action reportedly also involves Movie Anywhere, the industry-backed platform that lets consumers of digital and packaged-media movies access their content across compatible devices. Platform users will still be able to access their Google Play Movies & TV and Movies Anywhere content purchases on Google-owned YouTube.

“Movies Anywhere users can rest assured that their purchased content will still be available to them on the Movies Anywhere app,” read a Movies Anywhere statement. “Movies Anywhere will continue to provide streamlined access to movies purchased through connected digital retailers, allowing movie lovers to access their collection in more places than ever before.”

While the Google Play Movies & TV app still exists, it reportedly will soon meld with Google TV, the streaming app launched last September.

In a blog post from Google product manager Hanwook Kim, the search behemoth is instructing affected users going forward to access and/or share their purchased content through its YouTube subsidiary. Movies and TV shows purchased on YouTube cannot be shared with third parties.

“Starting 6/15/2021, the Google Play Movies & TV app will no longer be available on Roku, Samsung, LG and Vizio smart TVs,” he wrote.” “The YouTube app will be your new home for movies and shows. Just log in with your Google account in the YouTube app [and] you’ll have access to all of your past purchases, and will be able to browse, purchase, and rent new content.”

Among some of the changes cited in the post:

  • A consumers’ past purchases will still be available on YouTube;
  • Google Play credits can be used on YouTube to make purchases;
  • Play Family Library purchases can be viewed on YouTube but purchases made on YouTube do not support family sharing. Purchases made from the Google Play Movies & TV website or app will continue to support family sharing;
  • Watchlists are not available on YouTube, but viewers can set up playlists.

 

The YouTube app is available on devices that currently support the Google Play Movies & TV app, Kim noted. Content will not be viewable on LG NetCast and LG SimpleSmart devices.

Fitness Video Pioneer Leslie Sansone’s ‘Walk at Home’ Brand Launches Basketball-Inspired Walking Workout on YouTube

In time for March Madness, “Walk at Home,” a leading fitness walking brand, is releasing a new workout starring college basketball legend Taja Wilson that blends steps with hoops.

1 Mile “Sports-Inspired” Workout by Walk at Home and Taja Wilson officially launches at 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday, March 19, on the “Walk at Home” YouTube channel, which has more than 3 million subscribers. It’s the brand’s very first sports-inspired workout, with Wilson blending classic Walk at Home moves with her favorite basketball drills.

“We are thrilled to propel the ‘Walk at Home’ mission with incredible, new-generation instructors like Taja,” said Marie Bullano, VP of “Walk at Home.” “We are excited to incorporate more themes into our fitness offerings such as sports-inspired workouts, circuit training, and more. We are looking forward to creating fresh content to serve all walks of life.”

The 15-minute workout can be viewed for free on the “Walk at Home” YouTube channel as well as on the “Walk at Home” app.

Wilson is best known for her college basketball career at Michigan State University and Xavier University. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Sports Business Administration and is a contributor to ESPN.

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 At the end of my college basketball journey, I suffered a career-ending injury and, unfortunately, my lifelong dream of pursuing a WNBA career ended,” Wilson said. “But with the end of that season, came the birth of a new dream! I ventured into programming fitness videos because I identified with Walk at Home’s incredible mission and I had a passion for introducing others to the world of fitness in exciting and accessible new ways!”

“Walk at Home” is a leading at-home fitness walking brand. Created by Leslie Sansone, “Walk at Home” is one of the top-selling fitness brands at mass retail, including Walmart, Target, and QVC. Walk at Home’s popular YouTube channel has over 3 million subscribers and is ranked as one of the top fitness channels on YouTube.

Sansone has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Woman’s World, Family Circle, Healthy Living, Vogue India, Glamour Magazine, and other top wellness publications as well as on CNN, “Today,” and “CBS This Morning.”

YouTube, MLB Renew Streaming Deal for 21 Regular Season Games

Major League Baseball is just around the corner, and the national past time has renewed for the third time an over-the-top video distribution agreement — “MLB Game of the Week Live on YouTube” — with the Google-owned streaming platform.

The new agreement calls for the availability of 21 regular season games, beginning on April 7 at 1 p.m. ET, with the defending American League champion Tampa Bay Rays facing the Boston Red Sox. The ad-supported games are free to viewers who click on the MLB YouTube channel or subscribe to YouTube TV.

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Other YouTube games include the April 22 contest between the Los Angeles Angels and the Houston Astros at 8 p.m. ET; and the AL Central Division champion Minnesota Twins traveling to Cleveland to take on the Indians on April 28 at 1 p.m. ET.

A new feature this season is the “YouTube Player of the Game” feature enabling viewers on mobile devices and PCs the ability to vote for the standout player, who will receive a special trophy during the postgame show. Meanwhile, viewers will also be able to access live game commentary from sports-focused YouTube creators, participate in in-game polls, and re-watch key plays and real-time stats.

“Our partnership with MLB is always a highlight on the sports calendar for us and 2021 is going to be our biggest year yet,” Tim Katz, head of sports and news partnerships for YouTube, said in a statement. “YouTube shows up for its partners when and where they need us by offering unique in-game features to engage fans of all ages across the globe. With two successful seasons under our belts, we look forward to delivering 21 games this season to fans who have come to expect our creative presentation that is both easy to access and engaging, and we look forward to taking it to even greater heights.”

Report: Netflix Takes Most U.S. SVOD Revenue

Netflix invented the subscription streaming video market in 2008. Thirteen years later the SVOD behemoth still dominates consumer spending on streaming video in the U.S., according to new data from eMarketer.

The research firm says Netflix, Disney and YouTube are the biggest benefactors of consumer spending on over-the-top video. In 2021, just under one-third (30.8%) of all U.S. OTT subscription revenue will go to Netflix. Disney will account for about one-fourth (25.9%) of SVOD revenue, and YouTube will account for 13.2%.

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The research firm says Netflix’s share of total OTT subscription revenues is declining, which is as a result of increased competition and market size, not service quality. As reported, Netflix had a record year in 2020, adding millions of North American subs in a saturated market. E-Marketer expects Netflix’s domestic subscription revenue to increase to $11.76 billion in 2021, up from $10.64 billion in 2020.

Unlike Netflix, YouTube and Disney each operate online television platforms YouTube TV and Hulu+Live TV, respectively, which skew revenue statistics, according to analyst Ross Benes.

“Even though [online TV] subscribers remain low compared with the most popular streaming products, the high fees of [virtual MVPDs] have a big impact on these companies’ subscription revenues,” Benes wrote.

CPO Neal Mohan: 41% of AVOD Consumption Happens on YouTube

NEWS ANALYSIS — As the ad-supported VOD market skyrockets, including adoption of a new FAST acronym (free ad-supported streaming television), major media companies are clamoring to get a seat on the bandwagon.

“Not so fast,” would appear to be the advice of Neal Mohan, chief product officer of YouTube, who, in a March 10 blog post following comments given at the IAB leadership event, contends the Google-owned streaming platform already has dominant market share in the AVOD ecosystem.

YouTube CPO Neal Mohan

Mohan says 41% of all ad-supported VOD viewing is currently done on YouTube, a reasonable assessment considering the platform, along with Netflix, literally created the streaming video market.

According to eMarketer, more than 106 million U.S. households are projected to watch streaming content in 2021, surpassing pay-TV.  More than 82% of Internet-connected TV reach occurs through five streaming services: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Hulu and Disney+, according to Comscore. Only two of the platforms sell ads: Hulu and YouTube.

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“All of this makes clear how Internet-connected TV has opened a significant new chapter for video on YouTube and beyond,” Mohan wrote.

The executive claims 70% of YouTube viewers have purchased products advertised on the platform. Last December, more than 120 million people in the U.S. streamed YouTube or YouTube TV on their TV screens.

“There’s another interesting viewing behavior emerging,” Mohan wrote. “A new generation of viewers chooses to watch YouTube primarily on the TV screen: Also in December, over a quarter of logged-in YouTube CTV viewers in the U.S. watched content almost exclusively on the TV screen.”

Google this month will roll out YouTube Shorts, a mobile phone-centric platform that aims to compete with TikTok, enabling creators and artists to shoot snappy videos. Currently, Shorts is available in beta in India. Since the beginning of December, the number of Indian channels using Shorts creation tools has more than tripled, and the platform’s Shorts player is now receiving more than 3.5 billion daily views globally, according to the company.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll begin expanding the beta to the U.S., unlocking our tools to even more creators so they can get started with Shorts,” Mohan wrote.

Google Agrees to Pay News Corp. for Content in Landmark Media Boost

In a major shift, Google has signed a three-year deal with News Corp., agreeing to pay “significant payments” to the corporate parent to The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, New York Post, The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun in the U.K., among others.

The deal also calls for development of a news-based subscription platform and revenue-sharing deals for advertising, audio journalism and video journalism on Google-owned YouTube.

News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson said that the deal would have a positive impact on journalism around the globe having firmly established that there should be a premium for premium journalism.

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“I would like to thank [Google CEO] Sundar Pichai and his team who have shown a thoughtful commitment to journalism that will resonate in every country,” Thompson said. “This has been a passionate cause for our company for well over a decade and I am gratified that the terms of trade are changing, not just for News Corp, but for every publisher.”

Google for years has been accused of distributing proprietary content from news outlets around the world for free via its vaunted search engine. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. was one of the first media companies to fight back, erecting pay walls and lobbying government pushback against Google, including in the U.S. Congress. Similar deals with Google have occurred following government fines in France and Australia.

Thompson credited the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, along with the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, for sticking up for news journalism and enabling providers the ability to get paid.

“The deal simply would not have been possible without the fervent, unstinting support of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, and the News Corp board,” Thompson said. “For many years, we were accused of tilting at tech windmills, but what was a solitary campaign, a quixotic quest, has become a movement, and both journalism and society will be enhanced.”

Netflix Use Further Distanced YouTube, Amazon, Hulu, Disney+ in 2020

Longtime online video champion YouTube saw usage dip behind Netflix in 2019 for the first time. The gap between the SVOD behemoth and Google-owned video platform expanded in 2020, according to new data from eMarketer. The average time spent daily on Netflix in the U.S. increased to 31 minutes, compared with 27 minutes on YouTube — up from 26 minutes and 25 minutes, respectively in 2019.

While daily use among Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ increased as well, they all lagged significantly behind perennial leader Netflix.

Amid the pandemic, U.S. adults spent 1 hour more per day on digital activities (across all devices) than they did in 2019, according to eMarketer. Total digital time is now on track to surpass 8 hours daily by the end of 2022.

Separate data from J.D. Power found that the average U.S. home increased the number of SVOD subscriptions to four from three in early 2020 — upping monthly spending to $47 from $38 in 2019.

In 2020, U.S. adults spent 7 hours, 50 minutes (7:50) per day consuming digital media, up 15% from 6:49 in 2019, the biggest increase since 2012. It’s also considerably higher than eMarketer’s Q1 2020 projection (7:31).

Digital time accounted for 57.5% of adults’ daily media time in 2020, and that figure will reach 60.2% by 2022.

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“Connected TVs and video game consoles are the main beneficiaries of the cord-cutting trend due to increases in the number of subscription OTT and ad-free VOD users and content offerings,” forecasting analyst Zach Goldner said in a statement.

  • Social Network Time: 1:05, up from 56 minutes in 2019
  • Digital Video Time: 2:13, up from 1:46 in 2019

 

“As normalcy returns in 2021, overall digital consumption will hold all of last year’s gains,” Goldner said. “Desktop/laptop time will return to negative growth this year, but smartphone time will more than make up the difference.”

Smartphones are driving a significant portion of adults’ total digital time. In fact, smartphone time surpassed 3 hours for the first time in 2020 (3:13), up from 2:45 in 2019.

Looking ahead, growth in digital time will continue, albeit at much smaller rates. U.S. adults’ daily digital time will gain another 7 minutes in 2021 to 7:57. It will then surpass 8 hours (8:02) in 2022 for the first time.

 

FilmRise Inks Content Deal for YouTube Talent

Studio and streaming network FilmRise and talent management company Night Media have entered into an agreement to bring a dozen digital native creators to digital streaming platforms and broadcast television.

FilmRise will package and produce broadcast and streaming content from Night Media creator videos.

The creators have garnered millions of subscribers and views on YouTube, according to a press release.

“The opportunity to leverage FilmRise’s vast global streaming network and Night Media’s most popular YouTube creator brands to streaming audiences is very exciting to us and we believe there will be huge cross-over success,” Max Einhorn, SVP of acquisitions and co-productions at FilmRise, said in a statement.

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Night Media represents nearly two dozen digital native creators across genres including comedy, lifestyle, philanthropy, gaming, challenges and travel, among others. FilmRise will be offering to digital platforms packaged content from “Mr. Beast” (47 million subscribers per month), “Preston & Brianna” (20.1 million subscribers per month, collectively), “Dallmyd” (11.5 million subscribers per month), “Matt Stonie” (13.1 million subscribers per month), “Unspeakable (25 million subscribers per month), “Guga Foods” (3.75. million subscribers per month) and “Azzyland” (13.2 million subscribers per month), among others.

“FilmRise’s leading position in the content streaming universe home entertainment industry creates a perfect opportunity for our talent to gain more exposure on multiple platforms to further their ever-growing audience,” Reed Duchscher, CEO of Night Media, said in a statement.

FilmRise will debut packaged seasons of “Mr. Beast” and “Preston & Brianna” on streaming networks in the spring.

Amazon Doc ‘All In: The Fight for Democracy’ Available Free Again Oct. 29-Nov. 1 on YouTube

Amazon will again stream the Amazon Original movie All in: The Fight for Democracy featuring Stacey Abrams to audiences free.

The free screening will be available on the Prime Video YouTube page.

The documentary was also free for 24 hours on Voter Registration day Sept. 22 outside of the Prime Video paywall.

In anticipation of the 2020 presidential election, All In: The Fight for Democracy examines the often overlooked, yet insidious issue of voter suppression in the United States. The film interweaves personal experiences with current activism and historical insight to expose a problem that has corrupted our democracy from the very beginning. With the perspective and expertise of Abrams, the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, the documentary offers an insider’s look into laws and barriers to voting that most people don’t even know are threats to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.

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All In: The Fight for Democracy is directed by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus and Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Lisa Cortés, and produced by Garbus, Cortés, Academy Award-winning producer Dan Cogan and Abrams. Amazon Studios acquired worldwide rights to All In: The Fight for Democracy from production company Story Syndicate.