Monday, September 20, 2021

Google sets all-time records as search and YouTube profits soar

Google emerged with a record $17.9B in profit last quarter. It joined other tech giants who had been making money despite (or maybe because of) COVID-19. But Alphabet’s Q2 2021 earnings do it one better — the company just set an all-time record revenue of $61.9 billion this quarter, and record profits for the fourth quarter in a row at $18.5 billion. Some of the numbers the company’s posting today (PDF) are nearly double those it reported a year ago.

Google search appears to be the big driver, shooting up over $14 billion since this time last year to $35.8 billion total (that’s nearly $4 billion higher than it did last quarter as well). YouTube advertising revenue almost doubled to $7Billion, compared to $3.8B last year. That’s $1 billion more than YouTube pulled in last quarter, too. YouTube also claims its YouTube Shorts are a huge success with 15 billion daily views around the world (up from 6.5 million in March).

As you can see from Jon Erlichman’s tweet below, we don’t see this kind of growth every year!

One big question was whether this would be the quarter Alphabet’s fast-growing Google Cloud business would stop hemorrhaging cash, after the bleeding slowed to just under a billion in Q1. While the division still isn’t profitable, Q2 shows it only lost $591 million, as it grew revenue from $4 billion last quarter to $4.6 billion this one. (Cloud made $3 billion last year.

Wondering how Google’s hardware business is doing ahead of a possible new Pixel 6 Pro and maybe a new stab at smartwatches later this year? Unfortunately, Google doesn’t break out hardware numbers yet, but there is a “Google other” category which includes other items as well. It’s now pulling in $6.6 billion in revenue, up from $5.1 billion a year ago.

On the Q2 earnings call, Google CBO Philipp Schindler suggested the high numbers were due to consumer spending — as has been the story for a while now, the pandemic has contributed to a huge surge in shopping, and as a giant advertiser with both search and YouTube, Google’s poised to benefit.

Ruth Porat, CFO, indicated that the company would have higher sales and marketing costs later in the year to support holiday product launches.

Correction Alphabet’s Q2 profit record was not broken in the third quarter, but it was the fourth consecutive quarter of record profits.

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