Google parent company Alphabet, Inc. reported first quarter 2018 earnings of $31.1 billion, a year-over-year increase of 26 percent.
Non-ad revenue streams such as Google Play, cloud apps, services and hardware rose 36 percent in the first quarter to $4.35 billion.
The Price Of Programmatic
A majority of Alphabet’s income in the first quarter—$26.6 billion—comes from Google’s programmatic advertising services. Paid clicks on Google’s own sites and apps rose an impressive 59 percent year-over-year, compared to 48 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter.
Cost per click (CPC) on Google’s own sites and apps fell 19 percent annually, a slightly larger drop than 16 percent in the fourth quarter.
Google CFO Ruth Porat said that the company benefited from strong mobile search growth, as well as desktop search and YouTube.
All About That Assistant
A major emphasis was placed on Google Assistant during the first quarter earnings call—not surprising considering the company’s experiential marketing efforts at SXSW and Assistant-focused commercials aired during the Academy Awards.
Google Assistant can now help users with over one million tasks, according to the company. During the Q&A session, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that their goal is to help users complete actions on mobile devices, rather than simply give search results. Pichai said they are “very excited” about mobile opportunities.
Brand safety was addressed, as well, with Pichai outlining recent efforts by YouTube to prevent offensive content before it has been posted. Using a combination of human and machine learning, over six million videos were flagged and removed before going public, Pichai said. Monetization requirements were changed for users recently, as well, restricting monetization to channels with over 10,000 minutes viewed. In the first quarter, channels earning more six figures per year rose 40 percent.
YouTube continues to grow. Pichai noted that over 100 videos have surpassed one billion views and the exclusive Coachella livestream boasted one million views.