- In its most recent annual report, Google’s parent company Alphabet laid out the case that the tech giant has competition far beyond its core business of search and digital advertising, per Bloomberg.
- The report specifically mentioned Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Apple as key competitors. In order to outline what Alphabet views as its newest rivals, Bloomberg’s reporting compared language in the latest report to last year’s filing.
- Alphabet's Q4 earnings report released a couple of weeks ago pointed to the growing importance of YouTube advertising as a revenue source with one analyst calling the video platform the possible “heir apparent” to Google’s search business.
Google is trying hard to evolve into more than just a search company, a necessary strategy as more search activity moves to mobile, where cost-per-click rates are lower. The annual report highlights several key directions the company is headed as it diversifies: video, digital assistants and cloud computing.
Given the growing importance of YouTube as described by Alphabet in its recent earnings report, digital video providers including Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu all directly compete with YouTube’s paid subscription version. This space is likely to evolve quickly over the next couple of years, with these players and potential upstarts looking to shore up a major role as consumers increasingly consume digital content.
Another big area of competition Alphabet is artificial intelligence-driven personal digital assistants, with Google's assistant going up against Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and even an assistant built into Facebook’s Messenger app. Related to the competition in digital assistants is the consumer hardware products that deliver those services. Amazon has its Echo, Dot and other Alexa-powered devices, and Alphabet faces hardware competition in other consumer electronics areas like smartphones.
As Alphabet becomes more active in cloud computing services for enterprise, it faces significant competition from Amazon and Microsoft who are both major players in the same business space.