While the key metrics from Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG ) (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) third-quarter earnings results received their fair share of attention when the company reported earnings on July 17, there's more to the story. Particularly, a few important comments in the company's earnings call seem to have been overlooked. Here are five important items management went over during the Q2 earnings call that every investor following Google should be aware of.
Android is free, but there's money in apps
While Google's Android is free for manufacturers to adopt for their smartphones, there is still a profitable business in the proliferation of Google's mobile operating system -- and it's not just in ads.
Google Chief Business Officer Nikesh Arora emphasized during the call that Android's Google Play app store is a meaningful business for the company.
"As we mentioned at IO, since last June, we paid out more than $5 billion to developers through Play, which clearly means it's a growing business for us as well," Arora said.
Add a robust and rapidly growing app store to the company's 1 billion active Android users and the truth emerges: Google Play is a key asset for building long-term value.
Google's "other" revenue is becoming increasingly important
Now accounting for 10% of revenue, up from 8% in the year-ago quarter and 4% of revenue just two years ago, Google's "other" revenue is becoming increasingly important to business results.
"Google other revenue grew 53%, year over year, to $1.6 billion and was up 3% quarter-over-quarter," Google CFO Pichette said during the call. "Digital sales of apps and content in our Play Store drove the year-over-year growth." Comparatively, Google's total top line rose 22% in Q2 from the year-ago quarter.
The transition to mobile is a key catalyst for Google's business
As more users are actively using smartphones, Google says the company's business will benefit. Even more, Arora says (via a Seeking Alpha transcript of the second-quarter earnings call) it is a long-term opportunity for the company.
As we see more and more users with penetration of smartphones, people spend more time looking for things in their smartphones. And I think there's a very, very long sort of runway that this opportunity has, because we're just seeing people getting on to smartphones. Now you're beginning to see businesses and other websites take mobile very, very seriously. They want to be present on mobile. I think the revenue opportunity is phenomenally high, because right now mobile does not monetize as well as certain other forms. But given the huge influx of queries we're seeing, we expect as people make it more and more relevant to be able to find information in the long-term, mobile should be monetizing even better than desktops. So, I think as a tremendous runway going forward, I don't think we have to fear the sort of saturation of smartphone penetration in developed markets for a while.
YouTube is an amazing business
There is "clearly a great runway ahead of [YouTube]," Pichette said during the call. YouTube's success seems to stem from the platform's impressive value proposition to marketers as a better place for TV marketing budgets.
Arora eloquently captured the value in YouTube for marketers.
And our monetization model in YouTube is working. It's a phenomenal model. It is now the linchpin of each of our brand strategies if our partners and advertisers want to come work with us to create brand campaigns because YouTube allows you to actually target a fragmented set of interest in a most efficient fashion as opposed to try and do burst advertising that you would do in television and broadcast more.
International markets are key
While the U.S. and the U.K. are Google's biggest markets, other markets may offer more growth opportunity, going forward.
Pichette noted that Google's "non-U.S. revenue excluding the U.K. was up 31% year over year to $7.7 billion, and this accounted for 48% of our total revenue."
Google will be tested in the coming years on its ability to capture search traffic in many non-English speaking markets. To live up to expectations and to continue growing revenue robustly, Google will also need to continue to effectively market its businesses in foreign markets.
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