Google Play growing at ‘unprecedented speed’, reaches 58 countries

Google posted its fourth quarter results last night, with net profits hitting $4.76bn but revenues slightly missing their targets at $18bn.

There wasn’t a lot of talk about music in the company’s presentation to investors, but there was a useful update on the growth of its streaming/download/cloud locker hybrid service, Google Play.

The platform’s music offering is now available in 58 countries, said Google, with its movie catalogue available in 102 and its e-books shop available in 65.

Google CFO Patrick Pichette confirmed that Google’s “other revenues” segment – driven by Google Play’s growth – increased by 19% year-over-year to $1.95 billion, making up 11% of Google’s overall revenues.

Omid Kordestani Interim Chief Business Officer at Google told investors: “Our digital content businesses are strong. I’m excited about Google Play’s development… It’s growing internationally at unprecedented speed.

“In December, we partnered with Sony to digitally release The Interview. It has been publicly reported that the film generated over $15 million in its first weekend, and that Google Play and YouTube drove the majority of those sales.”

There was a notable lack of discussion around YouTube MusicKey, the new subscription music service that Google is hoping will be complementary to Google Play.

However, Kordestani did say: “We launched YouTube music key beta a monthly music subscription service that provides ad free music, background play, and offline viewing. This will also include a subscription to Google Play Music with more than 30 million songs, expert queue rated play lists, and more.”

On YouTube, the exec confirmed that the platform now enjoys more than a billion users every month, with people watching hundreds of millions of hours of footage.

“Watch time is up 50% year-over-year,” he confirmed. “We continue to invest in our YouTube Partners and Partner revenue has increased by more than 50% year-over-year. We are seeing great momentum in mobile advertising on YouTube. Mobile revenue on YouTube is up more than 100% year-over-year.

“TrueView, where advertisers pay only if someone watches their ad also continues to do very well. Walmart U.S.’s holiday performance is one of many success stories. During the week of Black Friday, they used YouTube’s TrueView format to drive a 300% week-over-week increase in views of their channel and more than 28 million views on the week.

“This was a 600% increase in YouTube channel views over the same week in 2013. And while we are all anticipating a certain football game in Arizona this weekend, the action has already begun for its advertisers on YouTube. Nearly 70 ads or teasers related to the big game have been posted to YouTube this year, up 55% from the same time last year.

“People have been – people have already watched them more than 44 million times, up 25% from last year and for more than 70 million minutes on YouTube nearly tripled the watch time compared to the same point last year.

“On average people watch each ad for more than a minute-and-a-half. We continue to develop the tools that make digital work for brand marketers, their agencies and premium publishers.”Music Business Worldwide

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