Архив метки: Google

YouTube continues to see ad revenue decline, 2.6% drop YOY

Alphabet reported Tuesday its latest earnings, citing that YouTube saw ad revenue fall 2.6% year over year as advertisers pulled back from the platform due to economic uncertainty. YouTube only raked in $6.69 billion in advertising revenue for the first fiscal quarter of 2023 compared to the $6.87 billion during the same period last year.
Despite the disappointing number, YouTube managed to slightly beat analysts’ expectations of $6.6 billion.
This is the third quarter in a row that YouTube’s ad revenue decreased. The downward sliding figures are a cause of concern for content creators, who look to ad revenue to earn income.
The company attempted to offer reassurance during Tuesday’s earnings call, choosing to focus on its success with the short-form video feature Shorts.
“Last year the number of channels that uploaded to Shorts daily grew over 80%. Those posting weekly on Shorts saw the majority of new channel subscribers coming from their Shorts posts,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet said.
As the platform experiences intense competition from rivals like TikTok, the company continues to focus on the Shorts to boost its growth. In November 2022, YouTube rolled out Shorts to smart TVs. Google announced in February that Shorts has reached 50 billion daily views.
“We’re seeing strong watch time, growth… monetization is also progressing nicely. People are engaging and converting on ads across Shorts at increasing rates,” added Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer.
YouTube also reiterated plans to ramp up its efforts to make YouTube more shoppable. The company partnered with Shopify last year to enable YouTubers and merchants to feature products on their channels.
“Shopping on YouTube… It’s still super early days. One highlight last year, we brought shopping to more creators and brands by partnering with commerce platforms like Shopify. Now more than 100,000 creators, artists and brands have connected their own stores to their YouTube channels to sell their products. We’re excited about the potential ahead,” Schindler said.
The company confirmed to TechCrunch in November that it plans to add shopping features to Shorts.
Overall, parent company Alphabet reported $69.8 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2023, a 3% increase from the same year-ago period.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki stepped down from her role in February, taking on an advisory role across Google and Alphabet. Neal Mohan, chief product officer, is the new CEO.
In January, Alphabet cut 6% of its workforce, which affected 12,000 employees.

YouTube Shorts begins testing shopping features and affiliate marketing

YouTube continues to see ad revenue decline, 2.6% drop YOY by Lauren Forristal originally published on TechCrunch
YouTube continues to see ad revenue decline, 2.6% drop YOY

Google rolls out tests that block news content for some users in Canada

Google has launched tests that block access to news content for some users in Canada in response to the Canadian government’s online news bill. Bill C-18, or the Online News Act, would require platforms like Facebook and Google to negotiate deals that would pay news publishers for their content. The bill is currently before the Canadian Senate for debate.
The company told TechCrunch that the tests impact “a small percentage” of Canadian users. The tests limit the visibility of Canadian and international news, and affect all types of news content.
“We’re briefly testing potential product responses to Bill C-18 that impact a very small percentage of Canadian users,” a spokesperson for the company told TechCrunch in an email. We run thousands of tests each year to assess any potential changes to Search. We’ve been fully transparent about our concern that C-18 is overly broad and, if unchanged, could impact products Canadians use and rely on every day. We remain committed to supporting a sustainable future for news in Canada and offering solutions that fix Bill C-18.”
Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said on Twitter that Canadians won’t be intimidated by the tests and that tech giants need to be more transparent and accountable.

It’s disappointing to hear that Google is trying to block access to news sites. Canadians won’t be intimidated. At the end of the day, all we’re asking the tech giants to do is compensate journalists when they use their work. (1/2) https://t.co/11iRMA9jpL
— Pablo Rodriguez (@pablorodriguez) February 23, 2023

“It’s disappointing to hear that Google is trying to block access to news sites,” Rodriguez said in a tweet. “Canadians won’t be intimidated. At the end of the day, all we’re asking the tech giants to do is compensate journalists when they use their work. That’s why we introduced the Online News Act. Tech giants need to be more transparent and accountable to Canadians.”
Last year, Facebook threatened to block the sharing of Canadian news content unless the government amended legislation that would force digital platforms to pay news publishers. In 2021, Facebook briefly restricted users in Australia from sharing or viewing news links on the platform due to similar legislation. Google is now borrowing from the Meta-owned company’s playbook.
The move from Google doesn’t mark the first time that the company has opposed Canadian legislation. Last year, Google expressed concerns with Bill C-11, or the Online Streaming Act. The bill would force platforms like Google-owned YouTube to more prominently feature Canadian content. Google argued that the bill would negatively affect creators and viewers, and limit content discoverability. The Canadian Senate recently passed the bill with dozens of amendments, and it will be reviewed by the House of Commons.
A few months ago, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai issued a statement noting that the online news and streaming bills discriminate against American businesses. The U.S. government has also raised concerns about the trade implications of the bills.
Google rolls out tests that block news content for some users in Canada by Aisha Malik originally published on TechCrunch
Google rolls out tests that block news content for some users in Canada

Meta lays off thousands, FTX collapses, and Twitter has a very weird week

Hey, friends! Welcome back to Week in Review, the newsletter where we recap the top TechCrunch headlines from the past seven days. Get it in your inbox every Saturday AM by signing up here.
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Twitter had a week so strange that it could easily make up this entire newsletter, so we’ll keep to the bullet points:
Last week Elon laid off a huge chunk of the company. This week, some of those who were let go were reportedly asked to come back.
Twitter started giving blue verified checkmarks to anyone who’d pay $8. Things got chaotic fast.
Twitter rolled out a new, second checkmark for “Official” accounts. And then got rid of them. And then…brought them back?
By Friday morning, after fake “verified” accounts popped up for everything from companies to athletes to politicians, Twitter paused the $8 verification badge program.
A number of execs quit — to the point where the exits perked the ears of the FTC.
Elon reportedly told Twitter employees that “bankruptcy isn’t out of the question” for the company.
FTX collapses: Once one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world, FTX effectively exploded this week. It briefly looked like competitor Binance would step in to acquire FTX, only for Binance to take one look at FTX’s books and back out almost immediately. FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has since resigned, and the company has filed for bankruptcy.
Meta layoffs: Meta — the parent company behind Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp — laid off 13% of its workforce this week. With a worldwide headcount of around 87,000 employees, that works out to over eleven thousand roles cut.
Gmail will no longer let you go back to old Gmail: Don’t like the new look that Gmail started rolling out back in July? Bad news. While users could previously revert to the old design, the Gmail team announced this week that the new design will be the “standard experience” for all within weeks.
Google finds exploits in Samsung phones: “Google says it has evidence that a commercial surveillance vendor was exploiting three zero-day security vulnerabilities found in newer Samsung smartphones,” writes Zack Whittaker. “The chained vulnerabilities allow an attacker to gain kernel read and write privileges as the root user, and ultimately expose a device’s data.”
audio roundup
Looking for a new podcast to tune into on your commute? Here’s what’s up in TC podcasts lately:
The Chain Reaction crew broke down the absurd collapse of FTX as it was happening.
Equity (with a guest appearance from TC’s Becca Szkutak) covered the seemingly endless layoffs we’re seeing from tech companies big and small, and what FTX’s meltdown means for it and companies like it.
Darrell was joined on The TechCrunch Podcast by TC senior reporter Dom-Madori Davis to talk about “the coalition of VCs that are standing for reproductive rights” and to recap the biggest tech stories of the week.
Not a TechCrunch+ member yet? Here’s what members were checking out most behind the paywall:
How ButcherBox bootstrapped to $600M in revenue: How did ButcherBox grow from a modest Kickstarter to $600 million in revenue in just a few years? Haje outlines the company’s path so far.
The Exchange: In his increasingly popular daily newsletter, Alex Wilhelm wonders: Has everyone been valuing software companies the wrong way all along?
Meta lays off thousands, FTX collapses, and Twitter has a very weird week by Greg Kumparak originally published on TechCrunch
Meta lays off thousands, FTX collapses, and Twitter has a very weird week

Regie secures $10M to generate marketing copy using AI

Regie.ai, a startup using OpenAI’s GPT-3 text-generating system to create sales and marketing content for brands, today announced that it raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Scale Venture Partners with participation from Foundation Capital, South Park Commons, Day One Ventures and prominent angel investors. The fresh investment comes as VCs see a growing opportunity in AI-powered, copy-generating adtech companies, whose tech promises to save time while potentially increasing personalization.
Regie was founded in 2020 by Matt Millen and Srinath Sridhar. Previously a software engineer at Google and Meta, Sridhar is a data scientist by trade, having developed enterprise-scale AI systems that detect duplicate images and rank search results. Millen was formerly a VP at T-Mobile, leading the national sales teams (e.g., strategic accounts and public sector).
With Regie, Sridhar says he and Millen aimed to create a way for companies to communicate with their customers via channels like email, social media, text, podcasts, online advertising and more. Because companies have so many platforms and mediums at their disposal to speak with customers, he notes, it can be a challenge for content marketers to produce continuously compelling content to reach their customers.
“The way content is getting generated has fundamentally changed,” Sridhar told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Marketers and copywriters working in the enterprise … increasingly [need] to produce and manage content and content workflows at scale.”
Regie uses GPT-3 to power its service — the same GPT-3 that can generate poetry, prose and academic papers. But it’s a “flavor” of GPT-3 fine-tuned on a training data set of roughly 20,000 sales sequences (the series of steps to convert prospects into paying customers) and nearly 100 million sales emails. Also in the mix are custom language systems built by Regie to reflect brands and their messaging, designed to be integrated with existing sale platforms like Outreach, HubSpot, and Salesloft.
Image Credits: Regie
Lest the systems spew problematic language, Regie says that every system goes through “human curation” and vetting before being released. The startup also claims to train the systems on “inclusive” language and test them for biases, like bias against certain demographic groups.
Customers can use Regie to generate original, optimized-for-search-engines content or create custom sales sequences. The platform also offers blog- and social-media-post-authoring tools for personalizing messages, as well as a Chrome extension that analyzes the “quality” of emails that customers send — and optionally rewrites the text.
“Generative AI is completely disrupting the way content is created today. The biggest competitors of Regie would be the large content authoring and management platforms that will be completely redesigned AI first going forward,” Sridhar said confidently. “For example, Adobe’s suite of products including Acrobat, Illustrator, Photoshop, now Figma as well as Adobe Experience Cloud will start to get outdated as Regie continues to build on an intelligent content creation and management platform for the enterprise.”
More immediately, Regie competes with vendors like Jasper, Phrasee, Copysmith and Copy.ai — all of which tap AI to generate bespoke marketing copy. But Sridhar argues that Regie is a more vertical platform that caters to go-to-market teams in the enterprise while combining text, images and workflows into a single glass pane.
“Generative AI is such a paradigm shift that not only productivity and top-line of companies will go up as a result, but the bottom line will also go down simultaneously. There are very few products that can improve both sides of that financial equation,” Sridhar continued. “So if a company wants to reduce costs because they want to assimilate sales tools, or reduce outsourced writing while simultaneously increasing revenue, Regie can do that. If you are an outsourced marketing agency looking to retain more customers and efficiently generate content at scale, Regie can definitely do that for agencies as well.”
The company currently has more than 70 software-as-a-service customers on annual contracts, including AT&T, Sophos, Okta and Crunchbase. Sridhar didn’t reveal revenue but said that he expects the 25-person company to grow “meaningfully” this year.
“This is a revolutionary new field. And as always, adoption will require educating the users,” Sridhar said. “It is clear to us as practitioners that the world has changed. But it will take time for others to get their hands dirty and convince themselves that this is happening — and that it is a very positive development. So we have to be patient in educating the industry. We also have to show that content quality isn’t compromised and that it can perform better and be maintained more consistently with the strategic application of AI.”
To date, Regie has raised $14.8 million.
Regie secures $10M to generate marketing copy using AI by Kyle Wiggers originally published on TechCrunch
Regie secures $10M to generate marketing copy using AI