Google parent Alphabet's revenue has largely come from ad revenues — and now that's a sector that has been wiped out by the pandemic. With the acceleration of the COVID-19 worldwide in March, people began using Search more, but queries revolved around the pandemic, and other non-commercial topics: coronavirus-related search activity at its peak was four times greater than during the peak of the Super Bowl. As a result, Google’s overall ad revenue fell 10.8% over the previous quarter, even with the downturn beginning at the fag-end of the quarter. "Performance was strong during the first two months of the quarter, but then in March we experienced a significant slowdown in ad revenues," CFO Ruth Porat said. And it's going to get worse: “We anticipate that the second quarter will be a difficult one for our advertising business,” she added on the investor call. “As we move beyond the crisis and the global economy normalizes, this should be reflected in our advertising revenues…” she said. “We are sharpening our focus on executing more efficiently, while continuing to invest in our long-term opportunities,” she said. YouTube ad revenue was impacted harder, falling by 14.7% QoQ. Alphabet said growth persisted till late this quarter; direct response continued to have substantial growth throughout the quarter, but brand advertising slowed down in mid-March. YouTube ads did grow 33% YoY. YouTube Kids has been launched in 15 new countries in 2020. Watchtime has increased across the board and viewership on YouTube has increased significantly compared…
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