YouTube's value to advertisers touted by Google execs

Reports that YouTube's audience growth is stagnating didn't dissuade Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) executives from touting its benefits to advertisers as a key player in growing their digital campaigns.

As usual, YouTube's performance was not detailed amongst the second-quarter earnings results reported by Google. But executives on a conference call Thursday called it a "powerful starting point" for online advertisers, while directing attention to Google Play's video content as well.

"Google Play continues to grow at breakneck speed across all types of digital content, helping developers and content partners reach users around the world. For instance, Play Movies is now available in over 90 countries, with its recent additions in Argentina, Poland and the Czech Republic," said Nikesh Arora, chief business officer, in a call with analysts discussing Google's results. "We also recently signed deals with CBS TV and Viacom to bring their TV content to Google Play."

Arora called Google Play a great platform for innovation in apps and services as well as content.

The search engine giant continues to push YouTube in front of advertisers. Arora noted the company's presence at the Cannes Film Festival, where it hosted more than 300 meetings with advertising agencies and various brands.

He noted the sea change in how digital advertising is perceived. "Whereas digital used to be just one channel, today's brands are putting digital at the center of the brand building campaign."

Both Arora and Patrick Pichette, senior vice president and CFO at Google, stayed neutral on how well YouTube is performing, emphasizing its benefits as an ad-supported platform.

"I know there has been lot of speculation out there, but in essence, what we have (are) great opportunities in front of us and we don't comment on outside estimates," Pichette told analysts. "YouTube, you know it serves as a powerful starting point for advertisers, for looking to anchor their brand campaigns online and coupled with the online measurement of the digital audience is being Nielsen, ComScore, everything that we just announced over the last couple quarter. Clearly (it has) a great runway ahead of it."

For more:
- see the earnings release
- and this transcript

Related articles:
Report: YouTube getting antsy, wants to invest millions more in 'premium' content
YouTube might play matchmaker to Hollywood, online video talent
Advertising seeing one crazy summer thanks to original content growth
Report: YouTube took in $3.5B in revenue in 2013, well below analyst forecasts

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