Google 4Q13 Earnings Call Notes

A digest of some of the top insights that I’ve gathered from this week’s earnings calls.  Full notes can be found here.

Larry Page no longer on the earnings calls

“Larry will no longer be joining us on a regular basis on this call as he focuses with energy on running the Company. But consistent with our prior calls, Nikesh and I will be here.”

Thoughts on Nest

“In the case of Nest, look Nest and Google share a real common vision. Nest, both of us believe that technology should be doing the hard works so that people can get on with their lives and do great things. So our goal is really in the case of Nest is to help them scale. And bringing the resources of Google to increase their investments, reach broader audiences and then scale internationally. So, for us it’s a terrific opportunity and then bring people like — being able to attract people like Tony and Matt to the team is actually wonderful.”

CPG advertisers attracted to YouTube

“our strength this quarter was not just from retail or automotive also from CPG. And part of our ability to get CPG customers to come and advertise with us is our ability to convince them that brands can be built on the internet and YouTube clearly is the key player in our brand story, vis-à-vis advertisers, because they still think visually — they still video when they think brand advertising not just text ads.”

Advertisers want a third party to endorse the medium

“I think look in the long-term what advertisers want is a third party to endorse various media.”

Reading between the lines, nest to replace motorola as hardware engine

“Motorola – let’s never forget right has really strengthened our Android ecosystem and done a terrific job on that. So I think that both from a perspective of the hardware itself in the handset area as well as for the core Android ecosystem, I think that it’s a real win-win for everybody. In addition to that, right, as you know from the Nest acquisition and Glass and Wearables, we continue to innovate and we continue to be committed to the hardware in areas that are kind of enterprising, promising, new frontiers and that’s where actually we’re focusing on.”

Cash is a strategic asset

“the cash position of Google is seen as a strategic asset. It is an important asset to us both in terms of offensive and defensive, given the world in which we live in. And in that context, it’s been reviewed regularly and we make sure that actually we get the best return for our investors on that asset as well. So, we have a real strategy for that as well. So, for now we have nothing else to announce on it but just to give comfort to our investors that we do take this issue seriously and it is reviewed on a regular basis by both ourselves, management, but also raised to the Board for the right answer”

Still very early days for digital advertising

“I think we’re still in the very early days of how much advertising is going to move over to digital media. And I think you’re right to identify that, places like Google+, places like YouTube are still very, very sort of in their infancy in the amount of advertising they can support vis-à-vis the amount of usage we’re getting.”

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