Variety Intelligence Platform president and chief media analyst Andrew Wallenstein, senior media analyst Gavin Bridge, media analyst and correspondent Heidi Chung and media analyst Kevin Tran gathered Friday for another reflective conversation covering the week’s most notable news items across media and tech.
“Big Tech might seem like it’s too big,” opened Chung, highlighting the barrage of first-quarter earnings disclosed by several of Silicon Valley’s biggest entities, which included Alphabet, Apple, Facebook and Twitter. “This growth that we’ve seen this week might be…jaw-dropping to most, but you have to keep in mind that as consumers…we all need it, and it’s so ubiquitous at this point,” she followed, referring to the prevalence of these companies’ products and services in everyday life.
“These companies are just witnessing incredible growth…Facebook specifically,” added Tran. “Facebook is looked at as an indicator of how the ad industry is doing…that’s how it makes the majority of its revenue,” he explained after acknowledging that the social media giant, routinely mired in controversy and scrutiny, still surpassed expectations for its revenue and earnings in Q1.
The discussion was then steered toward Alphabet, with Bridge speaking YouTube’s enduring relevance as a platform ranking among that of legacy outworks in terms of presence and favorability among the public.
“YouTube is the most essential ad-supported service in the U.S.,” he said. “YouTube is now the distribution platform…maybe not of choice, but it’s definitely a platform that you must have as a brand to reach consumers,” he continued.
To hear further in-depth chats about the topics above and other items, watch the full conversation above.