Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) second-quarter financial results were enlightening. A 21% year-over-year increase in total revenue and a 42% rise in Alphabet's "other" revenue during the same period proved the online search giant's growth story is far from over.
But there's more useful insight to glean from the quarter than Alphabet's latest financial figures. The company's second-quarter earnings call was packed with more information about Alphabet. Here are the can't-miss quotes from the conference call (via S&P Global Market Intelligence).
YouTube is a behemoth
Alphabet management again cited YouTube (along with mobile search) as one of its two major growth drivers during the quarter. But Google CEO Sundar Pichai also detailed some of the metrics that are making YouTube so key.
YouTube now has 1.5 billion monthly viewers, and people watch, on average, 60 minutes a day on their phones and tablets. That's incredible, and it helps thousands of passionate video creators make money. The fastest growing stream for YouTube is in the living room. YouTube watch time on TV screens has nearly doubled year-on-year.
If you were to classify YouTube as a social network, at 1.5 billion monthly users, it's now the world's second-largest social network, second only to Facebook.
There's more growth ahead for YouTube
Despite YouTube's already impressive viewing time metrics, Pichai says there is still a lot of room for growth. He named three catalysts for further growth: mobile, television, and emerging markets.
I would say YouTube is one of those products which is scaling really well globally, just like Search did. And we are seeing real strong growth on mobile, and we are seeing real strong growth for YouTube on emerging markets as well. And we are seeing real strong growth on television. So if I look at YouTube on mobile, on emerging markets, on larger screens, they all look like newer opportunities, and so I think there's a lot more growth ahead.
Here's how to assess Alphabet's "other" revenue segment
One analyst asked for further insight into the revenue trajectory of Alphabet's other revenue segment. Though the segment's revenue was up 42% year over year, it was about flat sequentially, breaking from the segment's recent norm of year-over-year and sequential growth.
But CFO Ruth Porat explained that the segment is best viewed on a year-over-year basis.
It's obviously a mix of businesses, including some of our bigger investment areas, most notably Cloud and hardware. And as I said at the outset, Play continues to perform really well. I think if you were asking about the quarter-on-quarter sequentially, you noted, we're talking about a mix of business that have different characteristics. And to state the obvious, Play is more hit driven. It's highly seasonal. Hardware is also seasonal. So the year-on-year provides a better sense of the dynamics of the business...
Betting on the long-term trend of computer vision
Asked about Alphabet's emphasis of visual search at this year's Google I/O conference through the company's introduction of Google Lens (machine learning to examine photos through a smartphone camera in order to help complete tasks), Pichai seemed to get excited.
[O]n questions around visual search, when we think about Google Lens, we think about it as a set of capabilities, which will roll out across many different products. ... I think early days, we want to make sure it works well for use cases where it can and bet on the long-term trends in computer vision as we make progress there. ... So [for the] long run I'm very bullish on it, but we're going to roll this out slowly and thoughtfully.
Google Lens technology will begin rolling out to users in the fourth quarter, Pichai said.
Overall, Alphabet's second-quarter conference call reinforced the company's ongoing story of sustained growth and innovation.