Sure, Google’s search revenues looked pretty good in the second quarter reported today–especially on mobile devices. And the company managed to reduce expense growth enough to improve profits more than expected. The result: Shares shot up in extended trading after today’s close by nearly 12%.
But the real star of the quarter–and more importantly, Google made clear, its future–is YouTube. The search giant took pains to mention the reality and the potential of its video site multiple times, along with some key metrics that are, as they say, up and to the right:
* More than 1 billion people, almost a third of the Internet population, are collectively watching hundreds of millions of hours of video a day on YouTube, and average watch time rose 60% from a year ago, to its highest level in two years.
* The number of advertisers on YouTube is up 40% from a year ago.
* The average spending of the top 100 advertisers on YouTube is up more than 60% from a year ago.
* Revenues from ads bought through Google Preferred, which allows advertisers to buy space on top YouTube channels, tripled from a year ago.
Google executives have been saying for years that YouTube, which to many young people is television, will start stealing ad dollars from what is still the most lucrative advertising medium. Now, it seems to be implying that is finally starting to happen–or at the very least, that it’s on the cusp at long last. …